Long ago, when, in the days before Mark Zuckerberg’s betrayal, he was a trending topic on Twitter, it was said that the technology industry had unlimited potential to improve the world. You could also earn unlimited money! Then trolls, criminals, predators and demagogues stepped into technology-built public markets, and the tragedy of digital commons unfolded on a global scale. Nor was big technology opposed to monetization.
So technology was disastrously disrupted until a few weeks ago, when, taken out of our open offices and trapped in our homes, we discovered that the digital tools that connect us are lifelines. Those of us who are lucky enough to keep working while the economy is collapsing are compulsively adopting collaborative software, from project planners to video conferencing applications. Suddenly, public recognition for what engineers work tirelessly to build has grown again.
In recognition of the new vital role of collaboration, Computerworld, CIO, CSO, InfoWorld and Network World have come together to deliver five articles to help you optimize your collaboration efforts. Share them with the people you know.Although it is great to explore what can be achieved with popular tools from Slack to Trello to teams to GitHub to zoom , there is more to software collaboration. Processes and precautions for how we work together remotely evolve rapidly as group interactions revolve everywhere.
Office? What office?
Senior reporter Matthew Finnegan, who covers the collaboration for Computerworld, addresses the question in everyone’s mind: » Remote work, now and forever? «Surveys show that most people prefer to work from home and in organizations that have matured from home policies for a while, many employees have adapted to their new reality as if it were not a big deal. The office will not disappear overnight. But while productivity lasts and collaboration tools inevitably improve, why not let people work where they want? Matthew and Juliet Beauchamp of IDG TechTalk discuss these and other possibilities in a special episode of Today in Tech .
A more urgent demand is the security of those who work from home. Susan Bradley, CSO collaborator, addresses this in “ 8 key security considerations to protect remote workers «, which details the efforts you need to make immediately. Some are obvious, such as implementation two-factor authentication . Others are less, such as adjusting the effect on the security event log. As Susan argues, endpoint security is very different for connected home users than for those integrated into an office.
Having the right technology does not guarantee a successful collaboration. On » 7 Secrets of Successful Remote IT Teams «CIO collaborator John Edwards deepens the roles and responsibilities of teams working remotely. Not surprisingly, many of John’s recommendations, especially those related to leadership, can be applied to most management situations. But it also covers best practices for healthy group dynamics.
Now may be a good time to remember that the real pioneers of successful remote collaboration processes were, you guessed it, developers. InfoWorld contributor Isaac Sacolick explains, » 7 best practices for agile remote teams «, starting with choosing the right tools for your collaborative workspace. Isaac offers clear advice on everything from adjusting speeds to adapting agile «ceremonies» for working remotely. The final sentence of his story offers words to live: «Much of being agile, and not just following agile practices, recognizes when and how to change.»
We’re all in the middle of finding out right now. As we open up our own processes and rules of collaboration, the technology industry would do well to continue to redeem itself by taking notes and offering new creative solutions.