Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The death of internal communications?

Toby Ward writes in his blog that "internal communications is evolving, if not dying". His comment may be a bit melodramatic, but in general I agree with him. I've also found that Internal Comms are managing most of the intranet projects that we work on these days, and they're having to come to terms with a dramatically different way of looking at one of their key tools (the corporate intranet).

Social software (web 2.0) has been popular on the web for quite some time, but in my experience there has been a lag in seeing the social element appear on corporate intranets. One of the main reasons is that word - "corporate". Many see that as a justification for turning the intranet into a one way publishing tool. But in the same way that corporations have started talking (and listening) to their customers through the web, they are now finding that the intranet is the perfect platform to do the same with their employees.

This means that Internal Comms are losening their grip on the information that they are managing. Sure, there is still a need for the "official corporate view" - a company is not a democratic institution, and the views of the senior management are final (almost), and still need to be communicated. However, if these views are to be respected, there has to be an open conversation and weighing of the evidence/views of others (employees, ciustomers and shareholders) before any decision is made. Again, this is where the intranet helps. Some of our IC clients definitely get this evolution in roles, others are slightly behind, but catching up.

I'd be interested in hearing if any Internal Comms people out there feel that there is a change afoot, or am I just imagining it?

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Has Google won the SAAS prize?

There's an article in the Economist this week that paints a convincing picture of outsourcing your email (and Office applications) to Google. The software as a service trend is no longer on the fringe, and with Googles agressive aquisitions they've got to be a real threat not just to Microsoft, but to anyone who is building software as a packaged product.

Do any of you have experience of GMail, or another SAAS, and if so how did it compare to your desktop experience?