Many new systems for interacting with other employees, managers, vendors, and customers have been developed. You probably use some of them without realizing how essential they‘ve become in creating an environment that supports a collaborative culture.
- E-mail and instant messaging: billions of messages flow everyday between employees, managers, suppliers, and
- Social networking: more than just a way to socialize among friends, these tools give corporations another way for users to share ideas and collaborate with each According to its Forrester Research survey of 1,217 business decision makers worldwide late last year, 95% use social networks to some extent.
- Wikis: Wikis are a type of Web site that makes it easy for users to contribute and edit text content and graphics without any knowledge of Web page development or programming techniques. The most well-known wiki is Wikipedia. It relies on volunteers, makes no money, and accepts no advertising. Wikis are ideal tools for storing and sharing company knowledge and insights.
- Virtual worlds: able to house online meetings, training sessions, and lounges, this type of tool is gaining popularity as a way to meet, interact, and exchange
- Virtual Meeting Systems: With a virtual meeting system you can hold strategy sessions once or twice a week instead. You would feel like all of your teammates are physically located in the same place if you use telepresence You can share ideas and documents in real-time. Best of all, you don‘t have all the travel hassles and you can sleep in your own bed.
- Google Apps and Google sites: One of the most widely used
―free‖ online services for collaboration is Google Apps/Google Sites. Google Sites allows users to quickly create online, group- editable Web sites. Google Sites users can design and populate Web sites in minutes and, without any advanced technical skills, post a variety of files including calendars, text, spreadsheets, and videos for private, group, or public viewing and editing. Google Apps works with Google Sites and includes the typical desktop productivity office software tools (word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, contact management, messaging, and mail).
- Microsoft SharePoint: SharePoint is a browser-based collaboration and document management platform, combined with a powerful search engine that is installed on corporate SharePoint has a Web-based interface and close integration with everyday tools such as Microsoft Office desktop software products. SharePoint software makes it possible for employees to share their Office documents and collaborate on projects using Office documents as the foundation.
- Lotus Notes: A third Internet-based collaboration environment your team could use is IBM‘s Lotus It provides all the basic collaboration tools as Google Apps/Google Sites and SharePoint do but with a few added features.
The Information Systems Function in Business
Many people focus on the job losses caused by technological advances and changes. On the other hand, many new jobs have been created because of technology. Information systems departments, previously a tiny group of people usually assigned to the financial group, have moved into the mainstream of most companies.