As Damir and I trek across Canada on the Align IT tour, we’ve been talking to a lot of IT folk about collaboration in the enterprise. IT organizations that are moving from being seen as cost centres to being strategic business assets are finding ways to enhance the productivity of end users. And using technology to facilitate the sharing of information and ideas has become increasingly critical to any company looking to be competitive. This isn’t just collaboration between colleagues either. More and more organizations want to work more effectively with partners as well as encourage ideas and communication with customers. Dell’s Idea Storm is a good  example of technology enabling company and customer collaboration.

But it’s a balance for any IT organization to give end users the flexibility they need, without compromising the security and manageability that IT needs. Flexibility is required as users seek a rich experience across devices – smart phone, web browser or fully installed client – and organizations seek ways to facilitate collaborative efforts between colleagues and with partners and customers.  Whatever technology is used needs to be almost ubiquitous; so seamless and intuitive that it doesn’t get in the way of the creative process and available as needed.

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If you haven’t been able to join Damir and I on the tour, or if you have but want to hear more, come and join Caroline Hogwood, VP Solutions at Canadian Tire, and Peter Carson, CEO of Envision IT, tomorrow, Friday March 26th at 1pm EDT as they talk to Shane Schick from IT World about what their companies are doing with collaboration software and share their thoughts on where social networking in the enterprise is heading. Register now for this IT World Canada Real Voices Roundtable webcast.