Friday 10 October 2008

Looking for Intranet 2.0

If you are an Image & Data Manager magazine (IDM) subscriber, my latest article (PDF) that looks at the three alternative Intranet 2.0 strategies, titled Too cool for school, is now out in print in the September/October 2008 edition.

This article was based on many of the ideas I put forward in a workshop I ran last year on Intranet 2.0 and its worth reading the article and browsing the slides at the same time (just so you don’t get confused, I was still with CSC at that time, hence the CSC branding on the title slide):

Note: You can now download a copy of the article (PDF) As always I’ll make a copy of this article online in due course (my last IDM article and another new whitepaper is already available for download).

Unfortunately, due to space, one part of the article didn’t quite make the cut – however, as its also something I didn’t address in my original workshop I thought I would share it here anyway.

The context is that in the article (and also the workshop) I outline three broad Intranet 2.0 strategies (tactical social computing, a Web 2.0 orientated intranet and Enterprise 2.0). However, if none of those approaches fit your organisation’s vision for Intranet 2.0 then you might like to consider alternative and complimentary pathways for breaking out of the traditional intranet model. These include some revolutionary and not so revolutionary ideas, which are:

  • Metaverses – ‘3D world’ (or ‘metaverse’) technologies such as ‘OpenSim’ (an open source version of Second Life) and Sun’s ‘Project Wonderland’ allow organisations to securely host these environments internally and represent a complete departure from the traditional concept of the intranet and how users interact with it;
  • Social networking sites as intranets – Software company Serena has championed the idea of using social networking sites like Facebook as a replacement for the traditional company intranet – or if you prefer, you can setup an internal social and skills-sharing network instead;
  • Combine into a single extranet – Many organisations still operate separate intranet and Internet sites, but mature portal and newer wiki technologies already exist to make this kind of symbiotic combination a reality;
  • Support for mobility and other points of access – Most intranets are designed for full size computer users, but alternative access channels such as mobile computing and kiosks can be supported; and
  • Unified collaboration – The next evolution of the Unified Communication concept, brings same time interaction into the context of content, business process and business activities.

I must admit that out of all those suggestions I’m less excited about Serena’s idea of using Facebook as an intranet, however there is no doubt there is huge potential for improving our ability to find other people in organisations through enterprise social networking technologies. Also, I’m not sure if enterprise microblogging (e.g. Yammer) can sit neatly with Unified Collaboration in this list of ideas, but its clearly another possible option for injecting a little bit of Intranet 2.0 into your existing intranet.

Want to know more about Intranet 2.0? Then give me call, a tweet or an email. I’m always more than happy to chat further over coffee or present something more formal.

BTW Later in the month I’ll be presenting again at Key Forum’s Intranet 2.0 conference, this time on Enhancing employee performance with real time content and personalisation. Hope to see you there!

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