I was particularly taken with this bit of a post from Confused of Calcutta. In the context of talking about online communities, he mentions the problem of the corporate firewall:

While there have been significant technological advances over the past few decades, one of the biggest barriers to the ecosystem model is itself technological.

The firewall.

I’m no expert, but to me the firewall was designed to form a perimeter around an enterprise, a thou-shalt-not-pass barrier with intensive checks. The concept of the firewall seems to be based on the world consisting of disconnected islands of enterprise. This will change. This must change. The overlapping communities model that is emerging requires it to change.

The borders of the enterprise will have to get more and more porous, until a time comes where the border has disappeared. People will belong to multiple communities, those multiple communities will overlap in many and varied ways. Innovation will blossom at the edges of the communities, as professions collide, as the distinctions between some of the professions continue to blur. And it is up to us to ensure that technology does not become a barrier for such creativity. The historical firewall is just an example of such a barrier. The concept of the firewall will continue, but perhaps it will become more personal. Like identity. Like authentication and permissioning.

Facebook and the Enterprise: Part 9a: Meandering around with ecosystems

For our blog/wiki/newsfeed system, the biggest single problem is the sandboxed NHS network. If there were some way of accessing our Traction and Newsgator Enterprise (NGES) servers from outside the NHS network, our staff would be able to read their newsfeeds from home PCs, laptops while travelling, mobile phones from anywhere, etc. But none of this will happen (yet) because of the network configuration. I hope Confused is right that these barriers will shrivel over the coming years.

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