Groupware is a program which assists people to collectively work together, while they are actually located at different places. It means that it gives people who are far away from one another an opportunity to work on a similar project regardless of their physical locations (Wilson, 2001).
Groupware is preferred because of the following merits:
- It provides structures which enable members to view the purpose, goals and set up schedules. This gives them a chance to acquire information, compare notes and exchange ideas.
- It fosters creativity amongst the users. This enables members to come up with different ideas which can then be used to improve the project they work on.
- It helps to facilitate communication amongst all the involved members. This can be achieved through the use of messages and chats. Through such means of communication, the members can discuss certain issues before coming to an agreed conclusion.
The operations of this program have been considered ineffective because of the following demerits:
- It is costly. Buying the materials and maintaining the groupware is always challenging, because it requires a lot of money to purchase and effectively maintain them. This explains why many organizations usually decide to use other software to manage such programs (Wilson, 2001).
- It is an unreliable program because it depends on one server. When the Internet is down, the server can not allow anyone to use the program.
- It does not allow the use of non-verbal communication amongst the users. This poses a very great challenge to the organization since this form of communication is always preferred to others. It is simple and easy to use by all the stakeholders.
- It promotes overdependence on a particular groupware provider. Because of the logistical and security issues involved, it is appropriate for the user to only rely on one vender of the production, transportation and installation of the program.
- Wilson, P. (2001). Computer Supported Cooperative Work: An Introduction. Kluwer Academic Publishers.