January 2013 – Prepared by Zeus Kerravala

Few companies are islands unto themselves. Most are global, networked organizations comprised not only of internal employees but also suppliers, vendors, partners and customers. This work style enables them to respond to market opportunities and competitive threats faster than companies that are highly structured and vertically siloed.

For example, corporate project teams must be quickly assembled from disparate parts of the organization, often in multiple locations, then disassembled and reallocated. In this increasingly competitive environment, decision-making processes and communications must be distributed and dynamic.

Workflows must be equally fluid. Today’s workers are “on” all the time, highly visually oriented and mobile. They’re impatient to work when they want to, and have high expectations for immediate collaboration, driven by Internet gaming, social media, texting and other instant media. Figure 1, below, illustrates how a fluid workflow enables a wide range of use cases, from scheduled interactions to immediate visual conversations — anytime, anywhere and with anyone.

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