At Capgemini we are experimenting a lot with social software and one of the big discussions we have internally is whether it should be inside our outside the firewall. The main product that is causing this discussion now is what we consider as micro blogging, like Twitter. You have now versions that you can host on your own servers or that you can rent as a hosted service but the big question with that is… are we going to run it inside our outside the firewall? Meaning, will it be publicly available or only internally for the employees?
Both have their pros and cons: Having it internally means that you can discuss topics and talk about projects that are not supposed to be shared with the outside world. You can discuss company internals, customer specifics, bid information, etc. without for instance legal issues. On the other hand, one of the biggest pros why you should open up and use publicly available tools like Twitter is the collaboration with the outside world. I really enjoy that I can discuss on Twitter my thoughts with people from Capgemini but also from IBM and SAP.
After discussing this with my Twitter contacts (thanks to @alkronos, @ibmresearch, @rickmans, @faheyr, @yojibee) I got different ideas with pros and cons and a couple of them suggested to have the concept of groups. While the group thing is an interesting way to address the privacy issue (you tweet about company confidential stuff in the company group), I still haven’t figured out completely how it would work out. Are there actually Twitter-clones out there that fully support the model with multiple groups where some groups can be company internal and others public? Yammer? Laconica?
Share your ideas in the comments or engage in a discussion on Twitter (follow me here: @leeprovoost)