According to Wikipedia (a perfect example of a collaborative enterprise), the term Democracy originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) “rule of the people”. By its very definition, government is a collaborative activity so it’s no surprise that government organizations were one of the first places technology was used to collaborate more effectively. The US Navy’s COMPASS program was one of the first collaborative technology applications.
But the way government works has changed dramatically since the Ancient Greeks. Then it was all about face-to-face dialogue between a relatively small number of people in an open forum. Collaboration technologies (along with some good old fashioned back-stabbing – “et tu Brute?”) were direct and simple. Today, the same requirement exists but the sheer number of people needing to collaborate effectively has made it more difficult.
- The UK public sector (central, local, health and defense) accounts for a staggering 45% of total UK GDP
- The US federal government employs 2.9m people alone in and around Washington. This rises to almost 10m people if you include those employed by local governments and the military nationally
- The consolidated list of US federal laws (only) spreads to a document 200,000 pages long, with 40,000 new laws enacted in 2012
I could go on, but the point is that government today is a hugely expensive, complicated, people, labour and content-intensive process. It’s the very essence of a collaborative enterprise. Yet the estimated 1,300 federal US agencies all sit in different places, on different technology systems that don’t talk to each other and operate in completely different ways. These systems are also focused on keeping content locked inside the firewall. You think it’s hard to get a project going or share important information with two or three different teams? It’s no wonder that the White House has such a challenge getting anything done! It’s also unsurprising that so much money has been spent by government organizations trying to fix the problem with hugely complicated technology solutions. In many cases such projects risk ending in spectacular failure.
So what is changing? Is the situation getting any better, is technology finally improving government collaboration and really helping them ‘work better together’. The answer is yes, but this is just the start.
How do you create a collaborative enterprise? Well, like all big ideas it’s actually amazingly simple. You give everyone access to simple but secure, content collaboration platforms in the cloud. Systems that enable people to simply and flexibly store, share, collaborate and work together on information, regardless of whether it’s with other government agencies inside the firewall or numerous stakeholders outside of the organization. This collaboration is also possible on any platform and any device. Sound easy? Well it’s not. Doing this securely, in a scalable way as well as balancing integration and control with simplicity is extremely hard. But the spectacular rise of consumerized technology in the enterprise, driven by users of mobile and cloud technologies, has disrupted the way that information has traditionally flowed around businesses. This shows that this is entirely possible – and just how fast it can happen.
This is where Huddle fits in. The latest government figures in today’s announcement say it all:
- Huddle has doubled the number of deals secured with public sector organisations in the first eight months of this financial year (1 May 2012 – 30 April 2013) compared to the total number of contracts closed in 2011/2012
- Huddle is the most successful supplier on the UK’s G-Cloud Framework in terms of engagement numbers
- Our government customers include Forestry Commission, Crown Prosecution Service, Surrey County Council, NHS 24, Ministry of Justice and Defra
We are the leader in this space and proud that our secure content collaboration platform is enabling hundreds of thousands of government users to collaborate on content more easily than ever before. More government employees, agencies and teams rely on Huddle to be more productive, effective and successful than any other cloud platform. Since launching Huddle six years ago, we now work with government organizations globally and our biggest move being into the US this year.
And it’s not just government. We work with thousands of other organizations, including the Fortune 500, for whom the ability to successfully share and collaborate on large amounts of important information securely both internally and externally is extremely valuable.
Want to find out how we can help you become a collaborative enterprise – get in a Huddle!
Read more about team collaboration here.