Gartner prioritises remote collaboration

Johannesburg, 10 Jun 2011

It is impossible to underestimate the importance and scope of remote collaboration, according to analyst firm Gartner.

“By 2015, 75% of knowledge-based project work in the Global 2000 will be completed by distributed virtual teams,” the firm says.

Gartner recognises project collaboration as an integral part of effective project portfolio management (PPM). This year it included a special report on collaboration tools in PPM Market Universe. The research focuses on reviewing techniques and tools for organising the work of virtual teams.

Says Gartner: “IT project teams must collaborate across geographies and enterprise boundaries, because often the project owner defines the business need, others specify requirements, others provide design, internal or external participants may perform other development work, others test, and users and others may be involved in implementation.”

“Don't expect virtual teams to 'gel' like co-located teams, especially when involving external parties such as customers, suppliers or external service providers,” Gartner says.

It adds that measures to drive active collaboration on projects emphasise support and reward extra collaboration throughout the project life cycle - from strategy discussions with business and executive stakeholders through to testing and implementation.

This trend isn't new, it explains. However, not everyone has adjusted to it, and in many companies with virtual teams, “the collaboration infrastructure is something that happened by accident, rather than design”.

The firm notes that these companies are still looking for an efficient solution to handle the challenges of virtual collaboration.