Information in the Enterprise

A thought occurred to me today as I was walking into work. Why is it that the first place I go, and probably most of my coworkers, when I want to find out something is the Google search box in my browser? Why don’t I use the search box on our corporate intranet?

There’s certainly no doubt that there’s a wealth of information out there on the internet. What’s interesting is that one of the reasons I started this blog back almost 3 years ago is I thought there were things I was encountering in my research for work that others might find valuable. It was probably about 6 months after I started blogging that someone at work did a Google search on something SOA or governance related, and up popped my blog in his results. It seems rather silly that a colleague at work had to go out to the public internet to find something that I had to say.

Being an Enterprise Architect, I create my fair share of Visio diagrams, PowerPoint presentations, and Word documents. In this day and age, there’s absolutely no reason that these things can’t be put into something like SharePoint and indexed so there are available via the search box on the intranet page. Unfortunately, not everything I do at work winds up in one of those documents, so I need to apply the same principles I used in creating this blog to what I do at work, and start making some of those discussions available internally, as well. What’s nice about internal blogs is they can be put into your RSS reader right along side external feeds. That won’t happen with search, unfortunately. This is actually one situation where I think it could be useful to have a company-specific version of the major browsers that would first direct searches in the default search box to the internal engine, and then follow that up with general search results from Google or somewhere else.

I encourage all of my readers who work in enterprises to think about how they can make more of their knowledge available to their co-workers through their intranets. If you don’t have internal support for blogging, wikis, and a decent search engine, it may be time to make the investment.

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