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November 2012, Vol. 17

Building an enterprise social network for the 'extended' brain trust

When Donna Cuomo, chief information architect at MITRE Corp., took charge of architecting an enterprise social network in 2009, two cultural movements were afoot. The first was internal. MITRE's CEO had challenged the organization to extend its expertise by engaging with the best brains in the world. The Bedford, Mass., nonprofit, with a second headquarters in McClean, Va., and experts around the globe, operates federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) that help government agencies develop sophisticated technology to address thorny issues. That's thorny, as developing systems to thwart terrorists, communicate in remote terrain and root out tax fraud. The organization already had a sophisticated intranet, SharePoint sites aplenty and lots of listservs for keeping in touch internally. Donna Cuomo, chief information architect, MITRE Corp. "We are smart, but we are 7,500 people. The charge was to use IT to do more multi-organizational and strategic relationships," Cuomo said, addressing IT executives at a recent ...

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