Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

This week in links - week 32, 2008

Nitin Mangtani, Lead Product Manager at Google makes a good sales pitch for the latest Google Search Appliance in the post "Tackling information overload, 10 million documents at a time":
We think that searching for the myriad of business information that helps you do your job should be as easy as searching for information on Google.com -- regardless of how much content your organization has, or where it resides. And since the volume of documents, customer contacts, presentations and other data flowing into your office is probably not going to shrink any time soon, giving your IT organization access to a high-capacity single appliance (instead of the dozens that come with typical enterprise search implementations) might save your company expense and administrative hours while making it that much easier for you to find the exact piece of information you need to close that sales deal -- 10 million documents at a time.

Steward Mader explains some of the main differences between Wikipedia and enterprise wikis in the post"5 Differences between Wikipedia & Enterprise Wikis". It is a good introduction to enterprise wikis, but what caught my interest was Mader's answer to a reader who had commented the post and asked whether or not it is possible to trust wiki content when there is no approval process:

A wiki should be used for activities that don’t need levels of approval before publishing, and to influence a change to practices that require fewer approvals. Here’s how:

Get your team to produce content together from the start. In this model, you don’t need approvals because people agree to be involved and provide constant input throughout the process, instead of only getting involved at a late stage to review and approve what others have produced.

The notion of approvals has been created as a response to the practice where someone (usually a manager) is not involved in content production because they’re usually busy attending meetings. When an organization chooses to adjust the way they work at all levels, including better meeting management using a wiki, managers and others who would traditionally only approve content can now get more involved at that earlier stage, which reduces the need for the approval process.

This is a different way of thinking about work, but it’s much more efficient for people at all levels. Inside an organization, you really shouldn’t have to worry about trust as much as you would on a public wiki. People are there to do their jobs, and an environment with a high level of trust is conducive to high quality work.
David Linthicum says that "A good enterprise architect should see blurry" since "the line where the enterprise begins and the web starts blirring":

...there are two types of enterprise architects out there: those who embrace the value of the Web and have learned how to leverage it, and those who do not see the value, and have drawn a pretty bold line around the enterprise.

The former is much more innovative and creates an infrastructure that's much more cost effective. They consider the value that information and application services that you neither own nor host can bring to your enterprise systems -- systems that are starving for new functionality, content, and data. It's just a matter of adjusting your thinking, and finding the resources you need to leverage.

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