The demonstration was impressive but then again they always are. Microsoft had done a good job in setting up some mock environments to show their newest technology in action. It all went on in the banqueting suite at the Centre for Life in Newcastle, which seems to be the favourite domain of the big tech companies.
It was good to see them doing something more local. So many times we have had to travel to Edinburgh or London to experience such an event. I hope that they do more.
They showed us how their software could help with collaboration with multiple people working on the same document at the same time in a secure environment. The networked equipment allowed for images to be cast from one device to another, in effect from anywhere in the world and have more than one person working on the same screen at the same time.
Using this approach could be revolutionary for us and allow us to be the collaborative organisation that our future will demand.
As I have said it was impressive and I was convinced by what I saw, but I was left with a feeling of why weren’t we doing this already. Yes, the technology would help yet there is nothing stopping us being collaborative now.
Documents can be shared. Machines can be networked. I can already work with others to create presentations only in series rather than parallel. I can already work with someone else on the same screen yet again only when we take turns.
The technology will improve the productivity of what we do just as the tractor was an improvement over the plough and the car more productive than the horse.
So why aren’t we doing more of this already and if we won’t now, will it be any different in the future when the technology is easier?
Collaboration is a state of mind rather than a technological achievement.