Collaboration tools are a hot topic in IT right now, but does anyone know what to do with them?

I have been to two meetings that have discussed IT collaboration recently. The latter one was a roundtable event in association with BT, and the other was a BT hosted event.

Obviously, this shows that one supplier sees the potential of IT collaboration as huge, particularly in these chastened times.

It’s definitely a hot topic at the moment – I’d like to think that we were spot on by launching a blog out Collaboration 2.0 blog 18 months ago.

There can be no doubt that video conferencing is seeing a new lease of life as companies slash travel budgets and opt for the lower cost option. A colleague of mine recently flew to Chicago for her hols and said that there were only 79 passengers in economy with over 200 seats available.

But while there are some obvious savings from encouraging staff to work from home more frequently and use technologies like video conferencing, it is definitely less clear cut that companies know what to do with emerging consumer collaboration technologies like Twitter and Facebook.

Take a look at this video to see a reaction from IT managers and directors about their understanding of IT collaboration from our roundtable event – its interesting stuff.

There’s loads of interest in this in the enterprise space but it often seems the case that the argument for using collaboration comes up against the security lobby, who see the loss of data and business critical information through employees as a big concern and risk.