Shel Holz

Made it into FIR #308!

My follow-up post on What is an intranet(2)? made it into For Immediate Release #308 … hurrah … who said sequels are never as good as originals! All I need to do now is get a mention in Private Eye (I’ve written plenty of stuff that would sit very comfortably in the Birtspeak column!) and I can invest in slippers, pipe and rocking chair! 😉

At the suggestion of Shel and Neville, I will start a discussion topic in the FIR Forum around intranet definitions based on my two posts … when my account is ‘activated’ that is – I registered 24 hrs ago and am still waiting 😦 … bit web 1.0 methinks!!

++UPDATE – 11/01/08++

Apparently my ‘activation’ e-mail was being blocked by the over-zealous spam filters on the BT Intranet firewall … I am now a fully-paid-up member of the FIR Forum and  have posted a topic around intranet definitions … have your say!!

What is an intranet (2)?

While I was ‘off-air’ over the festive holidays, my post on What is an intranet? (which I published just before Christmas) was picked up by Neville Hobson and Shel Holz and nearly made it into the excellent For Immediate Release podcast (show #305) … as it turned out, it ended up on the cutting room floor 😕

Shel/Neville … I am a ‘regular’ rather than ‘occasional’ listener and I think the show is great – keep up the good work!! I’m also not responsible for ‘all’ social media tools in BT … I’d hate to upset the many BT people engaged in this space and who contribute to the exciting social media stuff we are introducing and using!!

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).

We are really beginning to see the concept of the ‘extended enterprise’ become reality in BT (we have 110,000 employees and around 160,000 users of our intranet – the difference being partners, suppliers and contractors etc.).

As the ‘edges’ of companies become more permeable and as companies increasingly rely on third parties and contractors to deliver their business, will it be sustainable in the long run to duplicate what happens on the internet internally, manage all the access permissions in real time, and keep up with the vortex of new innovations that appear daily on the internet?

Wouldn’t it be simpler to let employees engage and collaborate on the internet … while providing the tools and services internally that require higher levels of security or carry significant legal/HR risks? 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.

Food for thought??

[PS – I’ll have to try to think of something REALLY interesting to say to make it into a full edition of FIR in the future!! ;-)]