Capgemini adopts social networking tools for knowledge management

2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Awards: Andy Mulholland

2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Awards

Andy Mulholland
Global CTO


With more than 90,000 employees worldwide, the virtual nature of Capgemini requires a sophisticated knowledge management system that gathers and filters information from communities around the globe. CTO Andy Mulholland used Web 2.0 technologies such as information tagging, blogs, and wikis as the backbone for Capgemini's knowledge management approach. The Web 2.0 technologies let users validate information through tags and ratings, making it more useful to their often-changing needs. Mulholland also adopted Google Apps as a supplement to traditional productivity tools to allow collaboration within Capgemini and with clients across the globe.

The challenge was more difficult than you might expect: As a consulting firm, Capgemini needs a strong focus on compliance activities, which are often technology-enabled. Yet the compliance emphasis of IT's efforts interfered with the company's need to collaborate flexibly internally and with clients. To overcome this disconnect, Mulholland and his team built an "enabling layer" with four core elements: service-oriented architecture, data, network, and standards. But the layer also separates the business functionality and the technologies from each other where necessary. This duality allows greater integration and more rapid adoption of new technologies across the company without creating problematic entanglements.

This shift also changed IT's role from conventional application, desktop administration, governance, and user expectation models to a flexible, network- and services-based process. "The value of this shift is not only measured by cost savings, but in changing the dynamics of work behavior to accelerate knowledge and increase collaboration," Mulholland says.

[ Discover how the lessons learned from the 2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Award winners can help your IT efforts. ]