Information Technology

Gartner Glossary

Groupware

Software that supports interpersonal processes and the objects with which people commonly work. Groupware was originally coined to describe a new class of applications designed to provide electronic support for groups of individuals working together toward a common goal. The term has been applied to applications ranging from unstructured electronic mail to rigorously structured workflow systems. Groupware is more useful as a concept when it is broken down into three major stages: communication, coordination and cooperation. In this light, groupware applications can be viewed in terms of the degree of structure in the group interaction and in the complexity of that structure, and the rigor with which the activity itself is monitored.

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