Bede's Tips

These tips are not to mystify a term wrapped in technical expressions or describe a detailed process of how internet systems can be installed, implemented or mobilized. It is to introduce platforms both to managers and programme officers as well as IT staff in the context of making choices for establishing a set of knowledge sharing and collaboration resources that can build recognition for an organisation as an information hub, central and core to a thematic area.

The paper is compiled from technical research and experiences over a period of 16 years, starting from making the first modem connection in Bhutan between the capital, Thimphu and the second city 180 km down the Himalayas, (where sending a 1MB file would take longer than copying it to a floppy disk and despatching it on an eight-hour bus trip), to working with internet connections where the same file could be delivered in a fraction of a second.

There are no hypotheses or conclusions, but hypothetical scenarios, case studies and platform combinations for different solutions, aimed to develop an understanding of what kind of shape an information hub may take. The lack of a conclusion is deliberate, because each organisation is different, with different capacities and different opportunities. A solutions expert – like me – seeking a conclusion or recommendation would need to consider these factors, among others, before making a proposal to an organisation.

All of the possibilities in the paper are chosen for their low purchase cost, in most cases free, but later sections raise important issues which have to be considered before embarking on establishing platforms for collaboration and developing intellectual capital which could cost an organisation its reputation if dealt with badly.