Just as email displaced paper memos and letters in the workplace, 2012 will mark the beginning of a shift from email to social and collaborative computing for interaction with colleagues and external partners.
Both large companies, like IT giant Atos, and small companies, like online news and reviews publisher Notebooks.com, are eliminating email by deploying collaboration solutions such as Google Docs
, Google Chat and Google Voice alongside tools such as Yammer and Jive that allow organisations to create private social networks.
During the coming year, we expect more and more users to be exposed to these kinds of social and collaborative environments as employers take advantage of the flexibility and cost benefits of cloud computing by rolling out cloud-based solutions like Google Apps for Business
. We believe users will rapidly start to appreciate the simplicity, speed and power of being able to share, discuss, revise and review ideas in a single place through this kind of environment.