Enterprise portals (generally known as just ‘portals’) rose to prominence several years ago. Complementing or replacing earlier technologies, portals promise to deliver a more coherent information management platform, and a more seamless user experience for staff.
Now that the early hype has died down, it is not surprising to find that portals are not a ‘silver bullet’ solution to all the information delivery challenges within organisations.
Like all technologies, portals have their strengths and weaknesses. These need to be well understood if they are to be successfully implemented within businesses. This article outlines the characteristics (good and bad) of enterprise portals, and proposes a business-centric approach to selecting and implementing portals.
Two definitions of portals
The word “portal” can mean many things. As recently highlighted by Janus Boye, the Wikipedia entry lists 13 different definitions for portal, not all of which relate to IT.
In practice, there are two main definitions that exist in the marketplace. The first is “portal as a concept”, which encapsulates the general principles of providing staff with a single point of access to information. The second is “portal as a technology”, which is the IT solution being promoted by a range of vendors.
[January KM Column, read the full article]