So far it has been another very interesting year

Now that July has arrived I’ve been looking back over the projects and other activities that Intranet Focus has been involved with since the beginning of this year. Our Research Notes series has been a success, judging by the number of downloads there have been of the individual publications.  We’ve covered enterprise search teams, digital workplaces, enterprise mobile implementation, managing virtual teams,  legal issues for intranet managers and trends and developments in enterprise search. The series is taking a summer break but will resume in September with SharePoint 2010 implementation, measuring the impact of intranets, using risk management to make business cases and manage projects and then in December we will review papers, books and reports that have been published in 2012 that you may have missed.

As for client projects, one involved a complete survey of digital content technologies, covering search, content management, collaboration, social media and mobile applications, then auditing what the client was using and developing a gap analysis of the current technology stack against what is available in the market.  Several projects this year have involved unravelling SharePoint 2010 implementations and offering advice on governance and implementation strategies.  Although most of our work is in the intranet area undertaking an audit of the web strategy of one of the largest UK universities made an interesting change and led to some interesting outcomes on the search implementation they were using.  We are currently working on a corporate information management strategy for a large  multinational company. Although there is general acceptance that SharePoint implementations benefit from having an information management strategy most of the published strategies are those developed by public sector organisations in the UK and the USA.  The objective of this strategy is to develop a set of technology-independent guidelines to support the effective management of information in a corporate context where there are some challenges with the use of multiple languages.

In May I keynoted the Step Two Designs Intranet 2012 conference in Sydney. Superbly organised and with many inspiring presentations it was well worth the long flight out to Australia. I arrived with a presentation on intranet governance almost completely written, but in discussion with James Robertson I totally rewrote it into a paper into one about the importance of search. Later in May I chaired Enterprise Search Europe 2012, with excellent keynote papers from Paul Doscher (Lucid Imagination) and Stephen Arnold.  Over the last few months I have enjoyed working with Kristian Norling (Findwise) on the global Enterprise Findability survey and was delighted to be asked by Findwise to keynote their Findability Day in Stockholm in June.  Another highlight was having Michael Sampson give a collaboration master class in London in March.

The next few months are already looking nicely busy, with a couple of fascinating search projects, the completion of the information management guidelines and a review of a global intranet strategy for a very large multinational company.  I’m looking forward to the Interaction 2012 intranet conference in London and KMWorld in Washington. My workshop in Washington is on managing and participating in virtual teams.  I’ll also be continuing my work with a great team at the Royal Society of Chemistry (where I’m Chair of the eContent Committee) on some innovative projects around chemical information publishing,  chemical data management and professional communities for chemists.

Martin White