Current Trends and Developments, Future Requirements, and Predictions for Computer Mediated Communications and E-Collaboration

Current Trends and Developments, Future Requirements, and Predictions for Computer Mediated Communications and E-Collaboration

Alfie Keary (Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland), Sam Redfern (National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland) and Paul Walsh (Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4711-4.ch011
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This chapter provides a revision and update to the authors' original 2012 research that discussed fifteen semi-structured interviews carried out with international industry experts and thought leaders within the computer mediated communications and e-collaboration field. The original interviews focused on 5, 10, and 15-year time frames, and sought to elicit predictions on the components and services of future platforms, as well as their likely impact on business processes and value chains. Affinity Diagramming/KJ Analysis techniques on the original interview transcripts exposed a number of key tenets that are now revisited, discussed in a current context, revised and updated in this chapter. Following a similar structure to the 2012 paper, the authors discuss the origins of the field, main providers and platforms, related software development technologies, W3C standards, video conferencing, telepresence, cloud computing and Enterprise 2.0. The authors provide a synopsis of the original interviews and have updated their conclusions and findings in light of most recent research and developments. With reference to future requirements, they have also updated their discussions on a next generation architecture proposal/model with additional insights from the authors' research work and that of others in the computer mediated communication and e-collaboration field.
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1. Cmc Origins

The theoretical and technical origins of CMC can be traced back to the Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) developments of some 20 years ago. In research published in 1994, Grudin remarks that “CSCW started as an effort by technologists to learn from economists, social psychologists, anthropologists, organizational theorists, educators, and anyone else who could shed light on group activity.” (Grudin, 1994). During the early 90s, groupware emerged and was seen as an able technology for CSCW.

As CSCW evolved, the term Group Decision-Support Systems (GDSS) began to emerge (Palmer, Fields, & Brouse, 1994). The GDSS approach supports both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration of multiple groups. In GDSS, the emphasis is not just on CSCW concepts, but also on the decision-making requirements of dispersed groups.

During 1999 Wheeler was researching geographically dispersed teams (Wheeler, Dennis, & Press, 1999). At the time Wheeler stressed that “the implication for researchers is to move beyond the study of just face-to-face teams or just distributed teams to include research of teams that work both face-to-face and distributed.”

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