On June 21, 2011, Susan Cline wrote a blog post for the Google in the Enterprise Blog on TechRepublic relating what she learned in a Webinar about the evolution of Google Apps in terms of collaboration tools. Judging by the enthusiasm expressed in the Webinar, it is obvious Google is very pleased with the collaborative features found in Google Apps, but do users really take advantage of those collaboration tools?
CBS Interactive has been using Google Apps for over a year now and our experience has been a mixed bag. The TechRepublic Editorial staff use the tools fairly often, especially when there is a project involved. The ability to coordinate our efforts with the collaboration tools greatly increases our efficiency because we very seldom have all editors in the office at the same time.
However, much of the rest of the CBS Interactive properties seem to stick to the older collaboration tools - mainly email. I think there is a general cultural reluctance to embrace new ways of doing things for fear of the learning curve and the inefficiencies learning new tools can cause. In many cases, it is more a lack of thinking differently rather than an actual aversion to change. Getting workers to use these tools means getting them to think collaboratively and getting them to look for the potential benefits offered by the tools.
With that idea in mind, I thought we'd conduct a quick poll to see how often you use Google Apps collaboration tools in your day-to-day working life.
Do you think there is a cultural reluctance to use these collaborative tools? Is the concept of online collaboration still too new for many users? What steps has your organization taken to help users discover the benefits of collaborative Google Apps tools?
Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.