Thursday, February 21, 2008

On Corporate Intranet (2)

I had some time to read a couple of posts on "Intranet" that I'd like to share with you (- like I did before).

Richard Dennison of BT has a couple of interesting posts. For instance on: what is an Intranet? I mentioned the first post before, but there's a second post too. Here's some interesting remarks. On using Internet tools for the Intranet:
Anyway … one interesting comment that Shel made in the piece was about ‘duplicating’ internet tools for intranets … this has certainly been my experience to date of how intranets evolve and take advantage of innovations that happen on the internet.
However, I wonder if that will continue to be the case in the future, or if companies will be forced to allow employees to conduct more and more business activity on the internet itself in the ‘native’ tools (… providing security, legal, etc, risks are mitigated).
(...)
Playing catch-up on an intranet is becoming less and less sustainable and, due to the rapid rate of innovation on the internet, it is becoming increasingly difficult to offer anything other than a significantly poorer user experience behind firewalls from the one employees can experience on the internet.

So Intranet will be Internet in the future. For BT this is related to "the extended enterprise" and "the 'edges' of companies becoming more permeable". This relates well to one of Jane's interesting Intranet questions she's now answering.
There's an interesting comment on this post too. "Andrewmarr" says:
However, what is needed is a way of enabling information to be re-used in different contexts.
This is true. Isn’t the dataportability initiative hopeful when it comes to reuse of information in different contexts. Now this is focused on data in different Internet tools (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). But why not expand this to tools inside and outside the organization?

Relating to another one of Jane's great Intranet questions, BT has also been talking about the "Changing Nature of Intranet Content". And he gives us some insight in their ideas on this topic. Basically they say: "ALL content is collaborative - what varies is the degree of collaboration involved in the four steps outlined above. " The four steps are: generation, publication, consumption and management/governance.
Finally Richard also shared their Intranet Strategy with us (compare this to the Intranet Hive). They have a neat picture to visualize it. Nicely done. It nicely shows that the Intranet has many faces, depending on how you look at it. I could not come up with an extra point of view. I completely agree with Steven Kent's comment that "it's sometimes better to let the intranet 'blend in' with the user's everyday jobs, rather than being more 'in their face'. If an Intranet doesn't blend in with everyday work I would say it's useless.

Finally an interesting (older...) post by Andrew McAfee on "Facebook AS the Intranet". I posted about this topic some time ago too. First of all Andrew points to the company Avenue A | Razorfish (1000 employees) that (largely) built their Intranet on MediaWiki. And that Serena Software has adopted Facebook as their Intranet. McAfee then asks if there are good reasons to keep on developing Intranet on 1.0 platforms? The discussion in the comments is really interesting.

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