GartnerSym – SharePoint 2010: Is It Enterprise-Class?

My day so far has been a bit scattered as there have been supplier sessions interwoven between Gartner sessions. I’ve also allowed some time today to actually write some of the reports I’ve been tasked to produce on the back of this – although I’ve been primarily been putting in placeholders as my brain needs a bit more time and a nights sleep to make sense of some of this stuff.

Anyway this post is about Sharepoint 2010.

The first thing that struck me from the session was the Strategic Planning Assumption shared by Gartner Analyst Regina Casonato:

By 2015, SharePoint will be as popular a platform for enterprise content applications as the iPad and iPhone are for consumer apps.

So i tweeted a comment along these lines which lead to quite a good mini discussion about “what was really meant by this” < My tweet is below:

http://twitter.com/#!/carlhaggerty/status/1923864636432384

Gartner Analyst Regina did cover the improvements in Sharepoint 2010 since 2007 and broadly major improvements to search and integration have been made and some improvement to workflow have been made, but i still ask myself is this really enough?
In terms of the Gartner Magic Quadrants Microsoft sit in or near the top right quadrant for ECM, Portal (internal) and Social software (internal) < Whilst you can’t ignore the dominance, it still doesn’t quite feel right considering that we were also told that Sharepoint is and i quote Gartner Analyst Regina here
“Basic social computing tools are “Good Enough” to challenge tactical suppliers”
However for local government and in this current economic climate can we really think about this level of investment or should we being more innovative and radical and consider shared options across the sector, something like the Knowledge Hub project is something which came to my mind and this lead to another interesting side discussion in twitter about whether we should consider making strategic decisions about IT on this scale without really knowing what the shape of our own organisations will be in 12-18 months time.
A very brief  summary would be that Sharepoint 2010 is better than Sharepoint 2007 but is just average at most things which overall means it could be good enough < each organisation needs to work out what value this would bring and whether or not they are prepared to accept the risks and issues associated with large systems.
Update: The views above are observations and people should check out the full features list of sharepoint 2010 to ascertain what value and benefits can ben realised in their own organisations

Death of the Local Authority Intranet

I’ve checked my twitter timeline but can’t find who posted a link to this article on Intranets – It didn’t really offer anything new in terms of definition or uses in my view, in fact I had to check the date of publication just to be sure that I wasn’t reading something from a few years ago. In all fairness I’m focused on Local Government and I’m not for a minute saying that businesses shouldn’t consider them. :o)

The reason I say that is because I believe there is no longer a need for Intranets in Local Government and I for one would be happy to see them all go. I did blog about this before but now I am utterly convinced there is simply no future in them.

They all seem to have common problems around user engagement and usefulness, the promotion and talk of Social Software components for intranets did for some time breathe a bit of life back into them, but times moves on and the cost of replicating this failure across all organisations isn’t efficient (we should fail once and big time :o) ) Seriously though, the shape of councils will change and the concept of what is internal and what is external and what is partnership and what is for suppliers etc will increasingly get more complex that we will simply have no need for a behind the firewall website.

If we are moving towards a strategic commissioning model then we will need to develop effective extranets which can support collaboration across organisations and sectors as well as providing a platform for policy and standards. With Open Government what is really sensitive about all these policies and existing content on Intranets that couldn’t be requested under FOI anyway? In my experience people who do have access to intranets don’t bother looking and it is seen as an after thought.

We would be delivering applications via the web into a web platform – dare I say portal of some kind – I do hate the word portal, but as I type nothing else springs to mind! We would need to ensure security of sensitive data and this will be facilitated through access controls and not simply a giant firewall around a poor web platform which is generally a place where internal information goes to die.

I’ve said it before but the Knowledge Hub project will offer a huge opportunity and although some people have said to me that councils will need Intranets – I can’t think of a single reason why we would need one of our own, instead of using a sector wide extranet which allows staff to connect with each other regardless.

The Knowledge Hub as I see it could be integrated with local technology solutions to provide a proactive destination for information – a place you go to “do” your work and collaborate with colleagues. This is the complete opposite of most Intranets which are a place we “store” policies and documents….

Ok there are some good examples out there – well I’ve heard that there are, the thing is I can’t see them….another thing the knowledge resolves we all see the same platform and only access information which we are allowed to see.

I have been called optimistic before and maybe this is exactly that….but in these tough financial times, can we really afford not to join up….I for one am looking forward to February 2011 when the Knowledge Hub is launched.