One of our departments, with deep pockets so it would appear, has just produced a slick, flash (in terms of look and technology) Contact Card ??? enabling internet users to see ???who does what??? in that department. Announced with great fanfare it looks neat, does its job and ticks a box ??? but it leaves me uneasy. It has no integration with the employee directory (where their listings still appear with old photos ??? rather than the high resolution in the Contact Card). Its sits on a server that is not picked up by our search and it doesn???t talk to our ???peoplesoft??? systems. Other departments are now asking for something similar but it???s unsustainable, in terms of budget and production.
I fear one of the effects of the recession has been the growing divide of a two tier knowledge offering. Those departments with budget produce something pretty, but it has little impact on the overall development of a knowledge sharing platform. The divide between a national health care system and private system springs to mind. Although we should applaud the innovation, or spending budget on it, it can???t be scaled to include whole organisation without a great demand for budget and resource. Would a better approach have been to collectively look at how we can improve the contact systems throughout the organisation? There would have been little fanfare for this but the greater good would be achieved. However, would such a project ever have got off the ground? In these economically uncertain times there are great opportunities to showcase something new (as there is very little competition) but whether it has any lasting value is another matter.