I attended the Content.gov seminar in DC today. The seminar was hosted by Alfresco and of course revolved around how this open-source enterprise content management tool can improve content management for government agencies. I’ve experimented with it a bit and think it is a good product.
What I took away from the conference was some ideas from Alfresco’s CTO, John Newton. He argues that enterprise IT has essentially been on hold since 2000 while consumer IT (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) has been on fire all throughout the first decade of the 21st century. Employees are demanding enterprise versions of what they use in their daily lives to connect and collaborate with their families. Not an original thought but a good summary of what is about to hit enterprise IT.
What was original and started me thinking was his later point that enterprise IT needs to build systems of engagement. That is, applications that focuses on the middle of the enterprise where the knowledge workers are. He states that we don’t need anymore applications for the frontline workers nor the top management because their needs are already met. I agree with the point about the top management but I am still not convinced about leaving out the frontline workers.
I do fully agree that the people in the middle of the enterprise do need better tools from enterprise IT. Tools that incorporate collaboration, knowledge sharing, and a whole host of activities under a new umbrella term that I just coined – collabogagement. A quick Google search shows that no one has used this term so I claim to be the first. In a future posting I will try to define it.