Are you present?

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about presence. By presence I am talk about your online presence and what that means to workforce solutions. I have posted about this before but now I am seeing the whole idea pop up in several different places. The traditional area is in instant messaging, which is cool, but now all sorts of other tools have presence built in Skype, mobile phones (initially ones like a Blackberry but others will soon just listen to The Gadget show to hear more) etc.

Presence awareness when integrated into business process interesting things happen. Firstly, systems can make “intelligent” decisions based on who is available to action the next business step. Systems can become more ”event” based, such as remind Fred to approve the next step in a critical business process I know a bad example but I hope you get the idea. Alternatively time sensitive processes can automatically redirect/escalate if the first approver is not available.

Presence can also be determined via security systems (previously the old clock in clock out type tools) and more recently organisations have been trying to implement RFID to track people. Once all this data is brought together into a system two things happen, firstly we have a very powerful foundation for business process, but secondly the possibilities for poor use of the data and information aka “Big Brother” and the option for the world to become like George Orwell’s 1984.

Once we have a propagation of presence aware systems the Seven Laws of Identity become VERY important. Why because presence is a form of identity, how you feel if systems started to communicate about you and your presence either at your desk or in the office without your knowledge.

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