20 June 2005 | Supernova | Why Can't a Business Work More Like the Web?

Greg Lloyd from Traction Software joins the Connected Work session at SuperNova 2005. Hear and read notes from the workshop at ITConversations and Suw Charman's Strange Attractor blog.

Why Can't a Business Work More Like the Web?

... If you can easily find what you want, and stay informed about what matters to you across a network as large and chaotic as the World Wide Web, why should you settle for less in your business? I don't think you will.

The value of actually knowing what's happening in your business (and what your business knows) has driven large enterprises to write large checks for top down Knowledge Management systems with generally disappointing results.

The new generation Internet can provide a model that makes everyday working communication simpler, while keeping everyone with an active (and valid) interest well informed. It can provide much better awareness but cut non-productive reporting overhead. The same web and syndication infrastructure can work for dissemination of information from line of business systems as well as from people - e.g. an RSS feed of sales wins from your CRM system makes a lot of sense.

Enterprise communication has some characteristics that differ from the public – or outside the firewall - communication functions that have been the focus of many "business blogging" conferences.

Here are two characteristics I believe are challenging but important for use at the extended enterprise level – for networks of thousands to millions of participants within and across organizations. I'd like to learn what Supernova attendees believe should be added to (or removed from) the list:

1) Address selected Audiences - Create weblogs, wikis and syndication feeds that encompass a selected audience of internal and external stakeholders. For example: include customers, contractors, consultants, and resellers as members of an extended product development team.

2) Support global identity and local permissions - Your globally known identity and role within an enterprise should be sufficient gain direct - or indirect - access to any locally permissioned weblog, wiki or syndication feed owned by that enterprise. Indirect access includes use of network scale permissioned alerting, syndication and search services across all of the content you have permission to read. ...

Without a rich selection of more private and more public spaces, a lot of important discussion will simply take place outside the system and lose its direct and indirect value. The network record should include the messy but critical tradeoffs, debates, discussions and decisions - right or wrong - for the enterprise's long-term benefit as well as those of the core team.

At the extended enterprise level, network scale alerting, syndication and search functions that cross permissioned spaces make it possible for people to stay informed about any topic or discussion which they care about and have permission to read without relying on manually authored reports or email in the middle – if network scale permissioned access works.

For a full copy of Greg's SuperNova 2005 point paper, see Why Can't a Business Work More Like the Web? (.pdf)

On the same theme, see also Blogs and Wikis: Building Customer Connections

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