In the last couple of months I’ve been working on number of different projects – with one major piece of contract work keeping me busy in Canberra right now – and while each has a different start and finish point, there has been a common theme in each related to the overlap of intranets (as we traditionally think of them) and collaboration.
Now, don’t get too excited. I hesitate to re-brand this space as Intranet 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 because its simply not as clear cut or as straight forward as that (after all, that’s why I’m involved). But there is no doubt that Web 2.0 is in some way influencing both what is possible and what people think is possible. The net result is a growing acceptance that intranets aren’t just places where you look for information but they are places where you can actually do work too. So collaboration doesn’t have to be something else or something different from the rest of the intranet, instead it is something that is either part of or has a clear fit with the overall intranet.
Still, every organisation is a little different. Even if collaboration on the intranet sounds like a good idea to people, there are always barriers that can get in the way of such a vision. Some of these barriers are justifiable, others are simply a fact of circumstance and occasionally because people are just stuck in old ways of thinking. But regardless, the process of change and our ability to work within any constraints while still providing an improvement to the state of the information workplace in an organisation is always more important than subscribing to a prescriptive model of pure enterprise social computing. Otherwise if we always aim for social computing perfection we might as well give up and go home.
What do you think? Is your intranet become more collaborative?