Jane McConnell just released the results of a survey she was been conducting around intranets.  440 organizations from around the world participated in the survey which focused on what leaders are doing at their companies.  I’ll take a look at some of the key findings and share my insights and ideas here.

Jane has identified as the five megatrends, intranets are:

  1. Being used as the door to the workplace
  2. Becoming more team-oriented and collaborative
  3. Becoming more people focused
  4. Becoming real-time
  5. Becoming place independent

In the research I am doing for my book and with Chess Media Group I have found that Jane is spot on.  Organizations I am speaking with are consistently either replacing or integrating their intranet solutions with more collaborative and social tools and technologies.  Organizations want a “front-door” where they can access everything they need from a single platform, preferably with single sign on access.

Traditional intranets are not collaborative at all by nature.  In fact many refer to intranets as the place where information goes to die.  New collaborative solutions are placing the emphasis on communities, networks, and on the employees who are using these solutions day-to-day to get their jobs done efficiently.  Most of these platforms are also integrating “real-time” twitter-like functionality which nowadays has become a basic standard for any enterprise collaboration platform.

Jane also uncovered some very interesting insights around the perception of the value of social media which mirrors the results we have seen in our survey (which we will release in a few weeks time) geared around collaboration in the enterprise.  Specifically, Jane found that fewer than 20% of organizations using social media actually measure or are even attempting to measure the value brought by social media.  However between 60-65% of respondents said they are seeing more effective knowledge sharing, better informed employees, and more engaged employees.  Jane also found that it takes at least 3-4 years for social media to become established within organizations.

One of the problems identified was the fact that senior managers are not setting an example.  In a recent conversation I had with Andrew McAfee he stated that support, trust, and enthusiasm from senior managers are one of the most reliable and predictable variables of success.  Just important, half-assed support is also not good enough.  Senior managers need to completely buy into these initiatives otherwise they shouldn’t be investing in them.


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One Response to “Global Intranet Trends for 2011 (part 1)”

  1. The observations are hardly surprising. Enterprise Collaboration is being recognized as an asset by more and more companies, and it is arguably more important than the social media network presence of companies. In most circumstances it is a good idea to adopt a readymade tool like Communication Tracker http://communication-tracker.com rather than building it on top of existing intranet applications (adding to more development and maintenance hassles).