Thursday 26 May 2005

Observations from Redesigning your Intranet and CeBIT

As you might have guessed from my recent posts, this week I've been pretty much focused on the Ark Group's Redesigning your Intranet conference and CeBIT, both of which are taking place in Sydney at the moment.

The Ark Group's intranet conference is always popular and its a good place to get a feel for what's happening across a wide range of organisations from government to construction and finance to telecommunications. Some of the common issues I observed that are challenging many participants in all industries include:

  • Dealing with the ever present problem of getting management and stakeholders to engage with the different aspects of running an intranet;
  • The need to evolve intranets into extranets and a desire to reconcile the management of internal and external facing sites; and
  • The increasing use of intranets as platforms for delivering rich media, access to business applications and collaborative tools.
Some participants expressed dissatisfaction with the capabilities of content management system software and vendor support, but I suspect some of this has origins in the growing complexity of intranets and how people plan, acquire and manage their intranet "systems". I was however a little surprised about the lack of awareness of social software like blogs, wikis and RSS.

As for CeBIT, it really is a rather overwhelming smorgasbord of different IT vendors (CeBIT itself divides them into about 15 or so major categories). I was interested to look at both content management solutions as well as other products for project management, governance, voice over IP telephony and web-based video conferencing and of course mobile solutions. However, just focusing on the content management system space, some of the companies I spoke to at CeBIT include (and in no particular order) Komodo CMS, ISYS, Crux Cybernetics, Intranet Dashboard, Solutione, Internetrix, Weblogics and Elcom Technology. Look out for industry updates on some of these vendors in the future.

PS Also look out for my latest article in the May/June edition of Image & Data Manager (IDM) article where I look at the advantages, disadvantages and technology choices of using wikis within organisations. A copy of this article will be available in my IDM archive in due course or pick up a free copy of the magazine at IDM's CeBIT stand!

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