Thursday 30 October 2008

Larry Cannell on the influence of Web 2.0 on intranets

I think Larry Cannell from the Burton Group starts off with a strong thesis in this presentation about the influence of Web 2.0 on intranets, which makes it worth looking at even if I’m a little unsure about the rest.

I like the way he describes at the impact of Web 2.0 as “spoiling” users by focusing on them, while intranets are focused on transactions. In a way you can even conceive that the communication role of intranets is transactional – e.g. come here, read this and now go away.

He also makes some good points about the tendency to over secure information in organisations. However, that particular discussion actually has value regardless of the technology – e.g. there are operational benefits even in some document management systems for opening up access to information and keeping the security model simple.

I’ve also always said that successful portals combine the information and resources that the organisation needs employees to see, with the stuff employees want to see – and its the employee wants that will act as a anchor to keep them coming back to use it. This really is where the Web 2.0 experience of usability and functionality can teach the enterprise a thing or two.

As we well know, for knowledge workers at least, work isn’t just about completing transactions. No wonder there is a fundamental mismatch between intranets and what their users need. Perhaps the simple rule for Intranet 2.0 is to treat its users as customers?

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