It’s never an easy choice and I’m not about to say that either Drupal, typo3, Tangora or SharePoint will solve all your internal collaboration problems, while making coffee. It all depends on what your organisation needs.

From time to time I do some consulting for people whos thinking about transferring their business/organisation to Open Source Software (OSS). Generally i’m all for using the best product for the job. Sometimes that product comes for free and sometimes it costs money.

It’s never easy to consult people on whether to change the structure of their organisations IT-platform. Most times, it’s the IT-departments that holds back. In denmark we have a saying. The CIO never gets fired for choosing Microsoft. Understandable, Microsoft makes some great products for businesses and therefore most of times, Microsoft is a safe bet. They simply deliver. But the peace at mind and the sound sleep at night has a price. Licenses and more licenses.

Reason for all the babble

I had a conversation with a politician the other day. He wanted to know whether it was possible to change the whole infrastructure of his municipality to OSS.

Right away I told him, “hold on there ace! This is not just something you do unless you are prepared for some heavy resistance from the guys in the IT-section”. One thing led to another and we ended up deciding to take things from the top.

In order to transform your infrastructure to OSS you first need a complete overview of your infrastructure and then you need to pinpoint which areas you want to “convert” first. It’s a huge undertaking to change the infrastructure to OSS. An often it’s not even possible to do the transformation, without a massive investment in developing new applications to replace the closed sourced ones.

We quickly decided that the Intranet and the website were huge points of interests, when it came to OSS. This is where OSS is mature and can make a real difference when it comes to cost.
But Intranet is all in the Eye of the Beholder. For some organisations, an Intranet is more or less a website for a closed group of people. Meaning that the Intranet is meant for aquring information and not really for collaboration and mangement of documents and other information. For others, the Intranet is the central hub from where every all information is collected. For them, the Intranet is wher you register your day, handle your cases, documents, costumers and just about all your daily work takes place on the Intranet.

It’s never an easy choice and I’m not about to say that either Drupal, Tangora or SharePoint will solve all your internal collaboration problems, while making coffee. It all depends on what your organisation needs.

If you have any input I would like very much to hear your comments in the matter. Would you rather use a Open Sourced Intranet system or a Closed Sourced Intranet system?