This issue of The Edge shows how collaboration technologies
are improving government organizations. Collaborative Targeting
addresses battlefield information overload. Collaborative
Virtual Workspace is refining intelligence analysis. This
issue also describes a web-based knowledge system, a web-based
expert finder, a model workplaces initiative, and MITRE's
leadership of a standards working group to evaluate collaboration
tools for the Defense Information Infrastructure. Also MITRE
is piloting Extranet technology to prove that Secure Collaboration
is no oxymoron.
The first collaboration offerings were asynchronous tools
such as e-mail, discussion databases, and group scheduling.
Synchronous (real-time) collaboration tools such as audio
and video conferencing, shared whiteboards, and shared applications
are now becoming more popular and more tightly integrated
into the desktop environment. Vendors are just starting to
supply these services bundled as extensions to the operating
environment, blurring the distinction between asynchronous
and synchronous collaboration tools.
Desktop computing will evolve to a point where people will
become primary objects (along with information and applications).
Collaboration capabilities (such as audio and video conferencing,
real-time application sharing, and shared whiteboards) will
be common tools available from the desktop. We will move toward
a complete collaboration environment, which will integrate
applications, data, and co-workers, and will offer user-location
independence and transparency. Effective implementation, however,
demands an organizational culture that fosters collaboration.
For more information, please contact guest
editor Esther Rhode using the employee directory.