Shrinking returns from business automation and the impact of web 2.0 will revolutionise the workplace and change the way we do business forever, experts predict.
Analysts at Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo in Cannes warned that organisations need to respond to these changes urgently.
Companies need to open up to a wider collection of business and social networks, in addition to creating more collaborative workplaces.
"Businesses have long understood the value of growing and supporting the business environment in which they operate," said Nikos Drakos, a research director at Gartner.
"Collaboration can be supported in new ways among customers, partners and teams, and IT has a fundamental role in embedding these practices in the business."
Gartner predicts that six out of 10 new collaboration-related IT projects will seamlessly incorporate supplier, partner and customer personnel by 2009.
This will herald a move away from the traditional closed and inward-looking organisation to a more open, collaborative and innovative environment.
The once-conservative pharmaceutical industry is already embracing this new openness by decentralising decision making, collaborating across the ecosystem and making proprietary information publicly available.
Sermo and Pfizer will work together to establish how drug companies can best communicate with physicians online, and provide drug and disease information on-demand.
"Innovation in the future will depend increasingly on extending your business to include a wider community and this will not be without risks," said Drakos.
"An active and managed approach to open innovation will enable organisations to take collaboration to the next level and compete fully on a global level."
Gartner noted that demand for improved information sharing along business functions is already driving solid growth for collaboration technologies. This is reflected in the growth of the enterprise social software market.
The analyst firm estimates that the enterprise social software revenue market will reach $226.9m in 2007 and will increase to more than $707.7m by 2011.
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