Enterprise directories have traditionally been little more than employee telephone lists, enriched with a few job titles, organizational and location data, and were seldom updated even when online. Workers were not responsible for supplying their own information or checking it, instead the information was entered by dedicated human resource staff on paper or using a non-interactive tool.
The future belongs to smart enhanced corporate directories. They belong to an ecosystem centered on employees, who provide their own information and enrich profiles through social and networking functions. Social functions allow the directories to facilitate networking and fuel the emergence of new practices. The directories can also help sow the seeds of a collaboration culture that will spread throughout organization.
Enhanced corporate directories are attracting growing interest in businesses, in particular in large enterprises where coworkers are distant from each other. Companies hope that these directories can help them look for skills and expertise, collaborate and set up project teams.
With this in mind, the Boostzone Institute is running research on Enhanced Corporate Directories. It defines them as "intelligent" directories that enable internal social media, knowledge management, communities and networks. The Institute has been carrying out face-to-face interviews with executives and design teams from large companies (over 5,000 employees) since June 2010.
The research has already highlighted different approaches to Enhanced Corporate Directories, but notes that a good corporate directory holds the key to any collaboration strategy and Enterprise 2.0 implementation. Interviews will continue until September with some 15 companies, and the Institute is also opening an online survey to gather feedbacks from more organizations.
The research report will be published during the fourth quarter of 2010 in English and French and will include :
- The survey results;
- Advice on directory planning, such as what data to include, where to obtain it, which areas to cover or not, range, rationalization, update, utilization, etc.;
- Implementation examples, including specifics, success factors, lessons learned from the project, etc.;
- Legal and ethical considerations, e.g. on data gathering and processing, how to anticipate and prevention problems (policies, statements, etc.);
- Open questions and potential evolutions toward what could be a corporate directory in 2015.
Participants to the online survey will receive the first section free and a 50% discount on the complete report.