Fuel for Growth
Because the relevant working "group" is no longer constrained to those on one company's payroll, groupware systems will need to easily extend to any user with a minimum of hassle.Because the relevant working "group" is no longer constrained to those on one companys payroll, groupware systems will need to easily extend to any user with a minimum of hassle. "Increasingly, you dont build [products] within corporate walls, you build them within an extended enterprise, and that requires collaboration capabilities, especially with life cycles of products growing shorter and shorter," says eRooms Francois Gossieaux. "Thats the next value youre going to get out of these applications," says netASPxs Tom Bailey. He sees significant potential for industry consortia to take a lead role in groupware-fueled knowledge management, identifying and promoting the experts on their rosters to the rest of the business world.
Of course, plans to open up wider data exchange and automation between an internal application and the rest of the world raise security questions, and integrators will have to juggle the promises made to the user community for transparent collaboration while protecting IT resources. It recently was revealed that a software flaw made it possible to attack an Outlook 2000-equipped PC through a vCard (RFC 2426) contact information attachment, one of the most innocuous (and accepted) personal data interchange formats around.