Click here to close now.

Welcome!

MICROSERVICES Authors: Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, ScriptRock Blog, Cynthia Dunlop, Adrian Bridgwater

Related Topics: Web 2.0, Java, XML, MICROSERVICES, .NET, Virtualization

Web 2.0: Article

The Typewriter-to-Telex-to-Twitter Collaboration Curve

What is collaboration for anyway?

Most of us can probably still reference fellow employees (and quite a few managers) who passed the Internet off as nothing more than a passing fad as recently as the turn of the millennium.

The "modern" business procedures of 1999 were already pretty slick and refined and fax machines were a vast improvement over the telex network, so things were working pretty well thank you very much.

The growth of this so-called "information super highway" was interesting, but it really just looked like some kind of online HTML-based encyclopedia of static reference pages that weren't that much of an improvement over plain old books and magazines.

Then came dynamic HTML and things started moving. Then came Web 2.0 inspired interactivity and interconnectivity and things would never really be the same.

Individuals started using the Internet in new ways to connect with each other and the typewriter, the telex and the fax machine were all consigned to the recycle bin as the effect was also felt from above. Firms started to re-engineer their management practices and new acronym-heavy labels were born, such as Business Process Management (BPM), as software was developed to orchestrate us through to new levels of automation.

What Is Collaboration for Anyway?
Fast-forward to 2013 and we see both CIOs and business managers under increasing pressure to "collaborate more efficiently" now. It's almost as if collaboration has become a business goal in its own right rather than the end results it is supposed to exist to facilitate.

But this is not a sector to ignore. Business level collaboration and communication, or "social enterprise solutions" as they are now known, are a growing market. According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise applications is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through from 2013 into 2016, reaching a total of US$6.4 billion.

Many of the big IT vendors are pushing forward in this space. IBM for example has just announced new social business software to help collaborate in the cloud using a broad range of mobile devices.

The products include the new IBM SmartCloud services, which include new social networking features and IBM SmartCloud Docs, a cloud-based office productivity suite, which allows users to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheets and presentation documents.

It All Comes Down to Productivity
If you're asking what the reason is for all these new tools, the answer is simple and it comes down to one word: productivity.

HP is also active in this space and channels much of its technology development into collaboration at the customer facing CRM (customer relationship management) end of the rainbow.

"Leading companies, particularly in business-to-consumer industries, have recognised the importance of tapping into customer-to-customer communications and engaging in these social conversations," said Joe Outlaw, principal contact center analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "Drawing on its strong analytics capabilities and deep CRM experience, HP has created a uniquely powerful social CRM service. This service offers companies a full set of tools and methodologies designed for rapid start-up and seamless broadening and deepening of social CRM programs as strategies dictate."

We are interconnecting and collaborating with customers and partners (and each other) in new and more (hopefully) productive ways. If we have moved on down the typewriter-to-telex-to-Twitter collaboration curve, then today almost represents some kind of intense, concentrated or extreme collaboration style.

Never shy of attempting to coin a new industry term if its fee-paying clients will substantiate a white paper to illustrate a new concept is IT analyst firm Gartner. The company has indeed taken the "extreme" term and refers to our new intercommunication obligations as extreme collaboration (XC).

The new "operating model" is enabled by combing coalesced forces into a pattern that forces us to innovate around the way people behave, communicate, work together and maintain relationships.

A Virtual War Room
"Collaboration is a critical activity in many operational business processes, both structured and unstructured. An XC environment is essentially a virtual war room or crisis center, where people can come together to collaboratively work on a shared purpose," said Janelle Hill, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

"This environment is available 24/7, thus enabling people to work when, where and how they need to in order to meet shared goals and outcomes. What makes it extreme is people's willingness to cross geographic, organizational, political, management boundaries, to pool their collective skills and resources to solve problems and move toward the attainment of a shared, ambitious goal."

If we buy this new concept then XC as defined by Gartner is charecterised and typified by a large proportion of web-based virtual collaboration and near-real-time communication activities.

For the more traditional or old school CIOs who are getting frustrated by some of this new-fangled operational talk, some of these moves could be hard to make. One the one hand there is the CIO who accepts that social enterprise technologies make some sense, but on the other hand sees "tweet jams," "crowdsourcing" and "dynamic community brainstorming" as just one step too far.

Yes we have moved on from the typewriter and the telex. Yes Twitter is characterizing the socially collaborative level of online interaction that we will all now employ at a professional level (not just consumer level)... and yes, Gartner's XC label does sound a bit way out initially.

But remember, "way out" is probably what we said about that whole new Internet thing when it first came along right?

•   •   •

The post was first featured on CIO Enterprise Forum.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
While poor system performance occurs for any number of reasons (poor code, understaffed teams, inadequate legacy systems), this week’s post should help you quickly diagnose and fix a few common problems, while setting yourself up for a more stable future at the same time. Modern application frameworks have made it very easy to build not only powerful back-ends, but also rich, web-based user interfaces that are pushed out to the client in real-time. Often this involves a lot of data being transf...
InfoScout in San Francisco gleans new levels of accurate insights into retail buyer behavior by collecting data directly from consumers’ sales receipts. In order to better analyze actual retail behaviors and patterns, InfoScout provides incentives for buyers to share their receipts, but InfoScout is then faced with the daunting task of managing and cleansing that essential data to provide actionable and understandable insights.
Best practices for helping DevOps and Test collaborate in ways that make your SDLC leaner and more scalable. The business demand for "more innovative software, faster" is driving a surge of interest in DevOps, Agile and Lean software development practices. However, today's testing processes are typically bogged down by weighty burdens such as the difficulty of 1) accessing complete Dev/Test environments; 2) acquiring complete, sanitized test data; and 3) configuring the behavior of the environm...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
As a group of concepts, DevOps has converged on several prominent themes including continuous software delivery, automation, and configuration management (CM). These integral pieces often form the pillars of an organization’s DevOps efforts, even as other bigger pieces like overarching best practices and guidelines are still being tried and tested. Being that DevOps is a relatively new paradigm - movement - methodology - [insert your own label here], standards around it have yet to be codified a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional S...
Learn the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation plus a DevOps team approach can address these top API testing challenges. Ensuring API integrity is difficult in today's complex application cloud, on-premises and hybrid environment scenarios. In this interview with TechTarget, Parasoft solution architect manager Spencer Debrosse shares his experiences about the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation and a DevOps team approach can a...
Chef and Canonical announced a partnership to integrate and distribute Chef with Ubuntu. Canonical is integrating the Chef automation platform with Canonical's Machine-As-A-Service (MAAS), enabling users to automate the provisioning, configuration and deployment of bare metal compute resources in the data center. Canonical is packaging Chef 12 server in upcoming distributions of its Ubuntu open source operating system and will provide commercial support for Chef within its user base.
When it comes to microservices there are myths and uncertainty about the journey ahead. Deploying a “Hello World” app on Docker is a long way from making microservices work in real enterprises with large applications, complex environments and existing organizational structures. February 19, 2015 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET → 45 Minutes Join our four experts: Special host Gene Kim, Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs’ Andrew Phillips as they explore the realities of microservices in today’s IT worl...
After what feel like an interminable cycle of media frenzy followed by hype and hysteria cycles, the practical elements of real world cloud implementations are starting to become better documented. But what is really different in the cloud? How do software applications behave, live, interact and interconnect inside the cloud? Where do cloud architectures differ so markedly from their predecessors that we need to learn a new set of mechanics – and, when do we start to refer to software progra...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
For those of us that have been practicing SOA for over a decade, it's surprising that there's so much interest in microservices. In fairness microservices don't look like the vendor play that was early SOA in the early noughties. But experienced SOA practitioners everywhere will be wondering if microservices is actually a good thing. You see microservices is basically an SOA pattern that inherits all the well-known SOA principles and adds characteristics that address the use of SOA for distribut...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...