Corporate LDAP services should serve as a reference for E2.0 deployments. For better or worse, many E2.0 technologies are quick to install, configure and deploy. This often leads to multiple instances of similar technologies, with varying degrees of maturity, being deployed in pockets across the enterprise. Over time this can create huge issues that ultimately drive up management costs and clutter an enterprise architecture with similar, but disparate systems that are isolated, each requiring different expertise for management. In order to reduce the management costs of E2.0 it needs to be treated like a corporate LDAP – implement a single, robust enterprise-class service and provision it to various systems. It is time to put the Enterprise back in Enterprise 2.0.
To achieve this vision and dramatically decrease management costs, a true Enterprise 2.0 platform is needed – providing both Breadth and Depth to support enterprise needs.
1. Provide one instance to service multiple systems
2. Provide a single point of management
3. Easily inter-operate with existing enterprise system
Much like when Windows (born from the desktop) first entered server rooms, E2.0 solutions (born from the commercial web) are now working their way into enterprise infrastructures. This is not to say that they are unable to provide solutions to business users, but the depth of their functionality may be limited and the ease of integration into the remainder of the enterprise may be unecesarrily complex or better served by alternatives. Beyond this, there are some critical capabilities that exist in enterprise-focused solutions that are critical to long term success and are tremendously helpful in reducing costs beyond an initial deployment. This is where vendors that are traditionally ECM focused excel – as many of the deeper capabilities needed by IT, but not seen by business users, are already part of their suite of products.
1. Retention Management – all unstructured content should be available to meet potential regulatory compliance needs
2. Workflow – workflow may not initially seem like a necessary component of a solution, but should be available to handle content needing approval from legal, marketing or otherwise
3. Analytics – analytics should be an inherent component of the platform, providing information from an integrated solution without the need for code
4. Auditing – for blog posts, discussion forum or any other form of user generated content a complete audit trail should be available to various potential support compliance or management needs
5. Security – the solution should integrate with existing directory services and ideally be able to support authentication against multiple source (internal and external directory services)
6. Search – content generated by the system should plug into existing search infrastructure
It may have at first seemed improbable that an E2.0 platform and LDAP may have similarities from a provisioning standpoint, but there is clear value in finding a solution capable of providing deep services from a single instance. Implementing a solution that supports this functionality will require more effort up front, but will richly pay big dividends in the long run.