Enterprises will face a number of challenges as staff shift from working with file-orientated systems and applications to their Web 2.0 equivalents, according to a new report from Gartner.
The analyst firm said that companies will face several issues as employees begin the move to this new way of working, especially when different teams within the same organisation work in different ways.
"There are fundamental differences between working styles that are file-oriented and document-based and those that are Web 2.0 and browser-based. Understanding and accommodating these differences will be important factors in determining the success of collaboration platform introductions," said Jeff Mann, research vice president at Gartner.
"Users who have spent years primarily working with PC-based office automation suites, such as Microsoft Office, tend to favour the file orientation and can find it unnerving to work in a Web 2.0 environment where people can be editing the same page at the same time."
"It is this mismatch between expectations and working styles that lies at the heart of many projects facing issues with user adoption."
The use of Web 2.0 tools is becoming commonplace, and some popular options offer a hybrid of the two worlds. Gartner singled out Google Docs, which lets the user work with documents on and offline, alone or in a group, and warned that organisations should expect to deal with all alternatives.
"Evolving technologies and increasing familiarity with Web 2.0 techniques will eventually reduce or even eliminate the distinctions between file-oriented and online environments," said Mann.
"However, while functionality will reduce the gap in user mentality, it will prove persistent and remain a challenge to collaboration managers introducing new technologies to their users."
Dealing with these differences should be easy, according to Gartner, if enterprises follow a few simple rules, such as recognising the benefits of working in the two different ways, and not forcing users to choose between one or the other.
"Tread carefully when introducing a new [model]. Don't blindly assume that one or the other will fit every situation," warned Mann.
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