One important benefit from distributed computing is the support for collaborative work.
Social life has demonstrated many times the power of collaboration.
Collaboration can be a productivity accelerator, and computing
technology can be used as a strong accelerator for collaborative work.
A very powerful combination, but as for any acceleration process,
garbage in = garbage out faster.
This can take a dramatic turn in sophisticated distributed environments.
Share and protect
There are many issues around collaborative environments but most are related to
two basic complementary concepts:
sharing and protecting
where each collaborator uses others' resources and grants access to his resources to others,
also protecting access to these same resources. Many issues come from combining
these seemingly opposite requirements, in complex distributed environments.
Sharing and protecting are relative and complementary processes.
Collaboration brings many other issues, including: virtualization, repositories, separation of concerns,
contribution & compensation tracking, coordination.