Gartner and the economic imperative of collective intelligence

InformationWeek reports that Gartner Inc. “identified the technologies it believes will have the greatest impact on businesses over the next 10 years, naming such hot areas as social-network analysis, collective intelligence, location-aware applications and event-driven architectures Collective intelligence was rated as potentially transformational to businesses Collective intelligence was defined as an approach to developing intellectual content, such as code and documents, through individuals working together with no centralized authority. ‘This is seen as a more cost-efficient way of producing content, metadata, software and certain services,’ Gartner said, adding that the approach is expected to go mainstream in five to 10 years Working within a wide community to achieve common goals will be embraced by businesses within five to 10 years, predicted Gartner.”
Out from the long report, bloggers who are tuned with the Zeitgeist picked up the most intriguing sign of our times and welcomed it under booming headlines, such as “Gartner predicts shift to collective intelligence,” “Gartner Lauds Collective Intelligence,” “Gartner predicts: Productivity will increase from Collective Intelligence,” etc
I don’t want to rain on Gartner’s parade of “discovering” CI; all of us in the CI community can benefit from by the field being blessed by prestigious industry pundits. But “mainstream in 5 to 10 years?” Come on, how about now? How else could businesses achieve common goals than “working within a wide community,” sometimes also called a “business ecosystem” or “business web?” CI is not a pipedream of visionary leaders anymore but the daily reality of millions of organizations. The questions is not “whether,” not even “when” but “how,” i.e. how good is our CI, do we have only sustainable advantage, knowing how to collaborate more smoothly, more effectively, and having more fun doing so?

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