What does Collaboration mean to you?

So, I am attending Collaborate 11 this week. If you don't know the show, it is a big annual Oracle User Group meeting here in the United States. It's a great place to interact with many customers in one place but in a more digestible and focused forum than something like Oracle Open World, TechEd, or other huge shows.


The name of the show sparked a thought that I think gets lost in the features and functions of monitoring. Performance monitoring - if done well - should promote team effectiveness in an organization. It should enable a collaborative approach. Collaboration is about working together to solve a problem. But how do you work together if everyone isn't working from the same info?


It seems much of the shortcoming in monitoring over the decades has been a lack of this very capability. Nearly every organization has multiple monitors used by the various teams responsible for performance - ops teams, app support, datacenter, infrastructure, domain specialists, and so on. Each tool has its own data collection or rules for interqpreting the data. The situation we have all seen too often is the formation of a war room to resolve a production problem. It is expensive and wasteful and often resuts in an unproductive "blame storm" of finger pointing and 'we are ok over here'. Or, 'my data says this'!!


Shouldn't a performance solution enable these various teams to collaborate? Shouldn't the solution enable a single team or user to see data and the environment from their point of view -- but not have that point of view contradict another's? Shouldn't the manager or executive be able to view it from their perspective and also their teams' perspectives as well?


Collaboration isn't just about technologies like SharePoint, communities like this site, or events like this one. Collaboration is critical to IT's success and it simply means working better together. It's not always easy to break out of your old ways, but your applications and infrastructure, and certainly your users and customers are worth the time to improve.