With more companies relying on technology to store and review organisational data, I wonder why Intranet softwares is not something which is talked about on my twitter / RSS feeds. Also, why are more startups/software companies not looking into building better intranet solutions?
I visited a friend two days ago who works for a large organisation and had a look at the intranet solution they used. As I learnt, it was stitched together ten years ago by someone who was new to the company and was built with little consulting to the many departmental needs. It works though. It collects data which is needed by the different departments and can give them some reports they need.
The person who originally wrote the software has long left the organisation and software continues to work. There are often issues which they are ok to ignore for now, but with growing needs of the organisation, they now feel that the software which once was able to give them 60% of data they needed, now only handles 30% of their workload. Back to using excel sheet for sharing reports which often get lost/overwritten during the many updates.
Rewriting the software they have come to rely on is something they are considering. It’s not an easy process I was told. The process involved in starting the rewrite seems so daunting and requires so many meetings/budget approvals, that they have been avoiding it for many months.
I had a peek at the database, and it had more than 300 tables in it with no documentation on which tables stores what data. Can someone work through the tables/columns and figure out the system? For sure.
I have been thinking about a better intranet solution since I returned home. I am looking at working on this as an open source side project.