Through the introduction of Web 2.0 tools and applications in the organization, we arguably have seen both a positive uptake by employees, and correlated increases of collaboration.
What I find interesting, however, is that we continue to launch new tools and applications (think Moore’s law here) without necessarily giving thought towards a common, unified and/or federated interface for the end user.
Imagine if you will, in the learning space specifically, that every time a new eLearning course was developed, that a new portal, system or application was also introduced where the employee had to log into to access the actual course.
This is a zany example of course, but the point is as we continue to introduce new Web, Learning, Enteprise 2.0 tools and applications into the enterprise, we arbitrarily do so without giving thought to what the experience is like for the employee, and what the overall time commitment is in terms of that same employee merely trying to keep up.
Organizations, these days, have multiple knowledge management systems, one or more learning management systems, an ERP to contend with, perfomance review system, along with the introduction of wiki, blog, podcast, vodcast, intranet, extranet, library, competency and sales performance tools. Can it be argued that as we continue to prove Moore’s Law correct, and we introduce more innovative ways in which to collaborate, that we (ironically) are going backwards?
Organizations need to start thinking about a single window into the org: call it Intranet 2.0 if you will.
This window would be a customized view into all things formal, informal and social. I supose this is not a new concept, per se, as Stephen Downes has been positioning for years, but nonetheless I believe it’s an important point to surface. The Learning Organization needs to become the Learning & Collaboration Organization, working in partnership with the CIO office in order to create this flexible, customizable window into the organization that essentially federates all existing applications and tools.
Think about Microsoft Sharepoint (particularly the 2010 release), Jive, Drupal, Blogtronix, Telligent, amongst many others as that window. The application of choice acts as both a social presence as well as a launchpad for the employee. Other systems, be it SAP/Oracle/Lawson ERP, any LMS, various Knowledge Management Systems, even other Web 2.0 would plug into the window permitting a single point of entry that federates content, search, sites, etc.
I also believe this provides an affordable way in which to leverage existing investments, and to pilot new Web 2.0 (or at some point 3.0) technologies that ultimately serve the business and the employees in the future.
Bertrand Duperrin does a great job of also articulating how the various E2.0 concepts need to become part of the enterprise ecosystem.