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Know your role!

Despite the fact that respondents’ companies invest in an average of nine C&C initiatives, they are not always well funded. More than one in four professionals believes funding constraints hinder their project’s success. Nearly as many believed lack of staff—a byproduct of poor funding—impedes the success of their primary C&C project. Despite the fact that companies are placing great importance on C&C initiatives, they are not investing sufficient money in them. Only 30 percent of respondents said their budget will see significant increases in 2011. The budget doesn’t always match the vision.

While money and political issues may get in the way of an initiative’s success, most believe they have the right technical skills and products to be successful. That implies that the right people and products are in place, but that the C&C professional faces an uphill battle to gain corporate acceptance and adequate funding.

Prepare for the future

Content and collaboration initiatives will continue to grow more important and complex. The rise of social technologies in the workplace, increased focus on online customer engagement and the ever-present need to manage information to mitigate risk will keep C&C professionals employed for a long time to come. Forrester expects that over time, the fragmented set of roles and initiatives will begin to become more formalized to focus on workplace solutions and customer solutions.

Among other changes, Forrester believes the role of the C&C professionals will:

1.) Organize and invest according to the industry they serve. In IP-intensive industries where knowledge transfer and best practices sharing at a global scale drives outsized financial returns, larger centralized teams designing common workplace platform solutions will be the norm. We already see that in the industry data. Conversely, businesses with disparate operations in unlike markets will likely continue to see C&C teams working on a disparate set of initiatives or processes with unique needs. There will be no one-size-fits-all model for C&C initiatives.

2.) Focus less on technology, and more on people, process and change. With culture and politics as the top barrier to successful C&C programs, C&C leaders will likely find themselves spending less time with technology and more with the people they serve. Further, with core workplace technologies like content management, search and collaboration toolsets quickly reaching maturity, Forrester believes making those various tools work together will require less time and investment.

3.) Orchestrate the interests of multiple functions. While technology issues will abate, Forrester believes scaling content and collaboration initiatives to meet the needs of a global work force will only grow more complex. Why? The number and diversity of stakeholders required to successfully deliver large-scale workplace solutions that adhere to international compliance, privacy and security standards add to the communications and change management overhead of those initiatives. Skills in negotiations, influence and leadership will matter more as C&C pros seek to scale their programs globally.

4.) Take a greater role in mobilizing the enterprise. While few C&C pros say they are involved in mobile strategies, we expect that to change. According to Forrester’s data, interest in smartphone support among information workers in North America and Canada outpaces any other collaborative tool by a factor of two. As those devices achieve greater acceptance among IT departments, we believe information workers will also demand access to all of the information and collaboration tools they’ve grown familiar with in the enterprise, like intranets, knowledge repositories, search tools and more.

5.) Adapt, advocate and evangelize emerging workplace technologies. With continued adoption of consumer tools and services like social technologies and video, Forrester expects content and collaboration professionals will increasingly adapt consumer-born innovations to enterprise use cases. We already see that happening with social technologies, innovation management software and more. C&C pros’ role in adapting, advocating and evangelizing to tools for business use will continue to drive impact for their enterprises.

   
  

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