Mark Gilbert from Gartner spoke at the Gartner BI summit in Sydney recently. He said that firms shouldn’t deploy collaboration software “out of the box” – I disagree, but I disagree because I’m being pedantic, although I think it is important to be so given this is a Gartner person speaking.
Here’s the opening from CIO Australia:
“IT managers implementing collaborative software such as SharePoint have been warned that simply installing applications out of the box will put strain on relationships throughout the business.
Speaking at the Gartner BI summit in Sydney, analyst Mark Gilbert said social software must be adapted to suit the needs of business functions across the enterprise.
“People are starting to change their perception of how they perceive their market, and SharePoint is a great example of one vendor’s offering of driving change through software,” Gilbert said.
“If you try to deploy something out of a box, you probably won’t have a good result. It’s all about teaming the project up with the business to see what they need.”
Gilbert said that using SharePoint as a flexible and agile tool is necessary if collaboration is to take place across the enterprise.“
I think what Mark should have said instead was don’t deploy collaboration software without engaging with the business to understand their needs and requirements and how you will encourage user adoption, even though the technology might be out-of-the-box plain vanilla. My concern with the way that Mark used the phrase “out-of-the-box” is that it signals that custom development may be required – but that’s entirely context-dependent. Blogs – out-of-the-box is fine, if you choose the right tool. Ditto with wikis. Ditto with Yammer.