1. And just to confuse things even more – I heard about a small organisation the other day – led by their CEO – who encouraged all staff to create LinkedIn profiles and connect with their work colleagues through LinkedIn. They created a members only LinkedIn Group for collaboration and to share interesting articles & events. Apparently its working very well with a high participation rate.

  2. James, you forgot to include the magic spell for making this happen.

    It’s such a frustrating situation to be in; multiple sources of information, usually none of them correct. But it’s really hard to wrangle them all into shape or reduce it down to just one.

    Part of the problem is that someone sees a system has the capability to contain profile/directory data, so they think “may as well use it”, but down the track after they’ve given up maintaining it–or simply forgotten it exists–it’s the users who pay the price…”what do you mean the phone directory built into my phone isn’t correct? why’s it there then?”

    • James Robertson

      I agree that it seems infeasible that organisations are going to clean up the current mess anytime in the near future! Sad to say, but we have to live in the real world.

      Two observations, however:

      1) Let’s not make matters worse! By coincidence, LinkedIn today announces their intention to release an “enterprise” version, and people immediately talking about how it could replace the intranet staff directory. No disrespect to LinkedIn, but is this wonderful new solution going to integrate with Active Directory, HR systems, etc? If not, then won’t we just be making the situation more messy?

      2) There’s a big push towards enterprise 2.0, social intranets and the digital workplace. All of which involve introducing new collaborative and social tools, and enabling greater participation by staff. If this is going to be a strategic move, then we *do* have to sort out some of the basics of staff “identity”.

      But no easy answers!

  3. Brian Lamb

    Patrick and James

    Yes magic potion please. “Minimum level: mandate that all new tools, whether in-house or hosted, connect seamlessly with Active Directory or LDAP.”

    Is a very useful starting point.

  4. The lack of short-term pain make LinkedIn, Yammer etc look very attractive as replacements for internals systems. But as you say James, going down that path may just being making the situation worse in the long run.

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Published February 16, 2012

James Robertson
James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two, the global thought leaders on intranets, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. James is the author of the best-selling books Essential intranets, Designing intranets and What every intranet team should know. He has keynoted conferences around the globe. (Follow him on Twitter)