Collaboration isn’t a crime, collusion is

I imagine that as you read this in board rooms across The City, particularly those hit by the $6Bn fines, fists will being banged on highly-polished mahogany tables demanding that access to collaboration technology be denied to those working in the bank. The argument will be that this needs to be done in order to prevent the anti-competitive market rigging that landed them with such eye-watering fines.

But preventing collaboration is not the answer. Collaboration is absolutely essential to businesses maintaining their competitive advantage: collaboration dramatically improves decision-making; collaboration shines a light on, and so permits the elimination of, wasteful duplication; collaboration fosters creativity and is a necessary precondition to innovation.

I imagine another voice, equally strident, proposing arguing for the creation of one system which centralizes and sucks in all forms of Digital communication, so all activity can be observed, like inmates in a Victorian prison a kind of Panopticon of communication. But collaboration won’t work like that, and in fact creating such systems under the guise of “breaking down silos” will in fact drive people to use clandestine tools, shadow IT, completely ungoverned and impossible to ensure compliance.

The type of secure collaboration environments that will work securely support the way people naturally organise themselves to collaborate: be that within teams or across organisational boundaries, always ensuring that the rules which apply to that particular instance of collaboration are readily enforced, making compliance the norm.

It’s natural to share, and with the right technology, it can be equally natural to play by the rules.