iNET: Overcoming a Legacy Web Portal at Singapore Management University
In 2014, Singapore Management University (SMU) undertook the reworking of its ten-year-old legacy intranet web portal eWise, and successfully replaced it with the new intranet, iNet. At lower maintenance costs than eWise, iNet offered modern design, easy consolidation and renewal of content, better integrated core operational functions, vastly improved user interface, and opportunities to collaborate.
The case presents an overview of the journey of this transformation at SMU, discussing the key challenges faced by Goh and his team in terms of choice of technology, skills required, resources management and change management, including cultural issues and resistance to change. It discusses the development process and the decisions taken regarding the technical platform, implementation approach, features incorporated, and the taxonomy and topology of the website.
Given the sheer size of the organisation and its information and legacy structure, iNet was undoubtedly an achievement. Yet, issues remained: How to accelerate iNet’s low adoption rate amongst users? Should the portal be expanded to unify the whole of SMU through a single integrated web portal? Would that bring in synergies across the university or would the different departments continue to operate in silos? What would be the right time for upgrading the intranet portal to ensure future readiness and scalability of the overall IT solution?
This case is appropriate for undergraduate or post-graduate information system courses. It will provide students an understanding of an enterprise web solution (intranet, extranet or internet-facing all-encompasses web portal) and its role in driving connectivity, streamlining processes and enabling synergies in an organisation.
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