Notes on the Future of Work

Thursday, September 6th, 2007
[Sitting in conference ballroom. Wireless access points every 8 feet. This place is seriously wired. I guess if your work is in the cloud you better make sure you can access it. Fast, too. 45 Mbps.]
Office 2.0 Trends
Shift in work from application centric to information centric

Challenges of Office 2.0
Harder to separate work from life
We are faced overwhelming choice
Driving innovation at a record pace

What does Office 2.0 mean?
Removing impediments to collaboration
Real-time collaboration - people want to work on a doc together
Opportunity to move consumer apps inside the firewall
Enterprise requirements are very different from consumer
What people want and what IT does are often different
IT is your friend, even when users to not understand it
Workgroups are taking Office 2.0 products in because it make them productive
There are no more attachments. Link! (Google berates attachments.)
End user is in control; workflow is about you. (Not sure corps agree.)

[Looking around; I'm wearing the only tie in the room. That's so Office 1.0]

Office 2.0 is not about replicating desktop apps; it's about innovation and working differently.

Office 2.0 is about reinventing the way we work, not just about moving into the cloud.
Moving into the cloud is simply the vehicle that makes Office 2.0 computing easy, ubiquitous, and low-cost.

Social networking (e.g explosion of facebook) could change the way people work inside the organization. Think about, e-mail, search, ecommerce - all of these changed the way we work today.

Microsoft: If you want to see where we are going, look at what consumers are doing and want.

Social networking brings new opportunities for KM in the enterprise - connecting people.

What is the enterprise
It's not your father's workplace. Your network may not even work for the same organization.
[Yes, I know, Notes does that, but now, with Office 2.0 the user can drive (choose the tools). I'm getting it now.]

Users own the tools - gadgets, etc.. They can customize their tools and own them.

[Office 2.0 means it's OK to wear black sneakers with white laces with a suit.]

E-Mail is still the killer app; but it's not synonymous with Outlook or Notes; it's communication

[Moderator interrupts and asks...]

How will Office 2.0 fix the problems?
Easily customizable apps; customization can be personal and shared without programming.
Ease of use - end user chooses information sources and builds their own work flow?
[yes, but will that scale? What if government employees built their own workflow? What about your bank?]

Don't look at the enterprise for Office 2.0 Innovation
Look at the small businesses - the small group without IT (or sometimes, funds) - and watch what they do and use. They will innovate out of necessity.

We need a smarter framework for Office 2.0
It's amazing how much work you have to do just to get started.
We are still dealing with the plumbing.

Keys to enterprise acceptance of Office 2.0 apps:

Q. In Office 1.0 tools come in apps, integrated. In Office 2.0 tools exist apart and users must integrate themselves. How will that scale to an enterprise?
We aren't there yet. Expect innovation in synchronization. Consumer space is not there with RSS yet.

[Every other seat has a laptop on it; those that don't have an iPhone.]

What do you do when the apps your enterprise uses suddenly change? Some vendors are making no-change guarantees to their customers.
(Or, my concern: what if the app you rely on is on a server/service that is run by a guy who just had a fight with his girlfriend? Will it still run; will the server be there tomorrow?)

We need new productivity tools for a new way of working. How does GTD scale at internet speed.

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