A digital workplace week

It’s been an interesting week as far as digital workplaces are concerned. The discussion about the Yahoo! decision to halt home working has continued to run and run. If nothing else the leaked memo has raised the issues about the effectiveness of virtual working. Since virtual work is a core element of a digital workplace this is a good discussion to be having now as we consider adoption issues and business cases.  Trying to judge the merits of the Yahoo! case is going to be impossible without a substantial amount of inside knowledge. The situation is not dissimilar to the HP-Autonomy situation. No one can quite understand how HP came to pay way too much for Autonomy and even after many rounds of forensic accounting we may still not understand. What it has done is cause IT managers, business managers and the industry itself to consider what direction search is going to go.

This week also marked the merger of two excellent digital workplace discussion groups, one developed some time ago by Jane McConnell (NetStrategyJMC) and one developed a few weeks ago by Sam Marshall. Both have been active groups but the merger will undoubtedly create the premier discussion forum on digital workplaces. The level of discussion on this LinkedIn Digital Workplace Group has already been substantial and well-informed and the digital workplace community should be very grateful to both Sam and Jane for their vision in seeing the merits of a single forum.

On a personal note I was informed this week that a paper I wrote late last year for Business Information Review (BIR) entitled Digital Workplaces: Vision and Reality had been selected as the best paper published in BIR during 2012. As BIR is a peer-reviewed journal this means a great deal to me. It was a paper I have been thinking about writing for many months and I am grateful to Dr. Sandra Ward and Val Skelton, the joint editors, for their support during the publication process. The business model of BIR is that either you subscribe to the journal or you pay a fee to download a paper. However Robyn McAllister, Assistant Editor, has arranged a link which for me will enable you to download the paper without charge.

This week the Digital Workplace Forum announced the launch of the Digital Workplace Mapping Service, based on the work that the Intranet Benchmarking Forum has been undertaking for many years. This initiative, together with the release of the Digital Workplace Trends 2013 report from Jane McConnell, will help the digital workplace community make some important steps towards defining a digital workplace and more importantly understanding what actions need to be taken to implement a successful digital workplace.

Martin White