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FreePint BlogWhen will your intranet get mobile?

Tuesday, 17th January 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Martin Belam


A quick glance around technology predictions for this year soon reveals that a lot of people expect 2012 to be a massive year for mobile. What does this mean for the intranet? Here are a few resources to help you work out where your intranet ought to be heading.


If, like me, you read through lots of blog posts predicting trends for 2012 in digital technology for the enterprise, you'll probably have noticed one big common theme – mobile. This might, for example, be the use of mobile to provide services to clients or customers – the Social Networking Librarian predicts that "As more database vendors create mobile apps, libraries will be able to offer more services to patrons via mobile" and "We will see a sharp increase in the number of libraries that have mobile friendly websites or library related applications for mobile phones".

Mobile is also likely to have an impact inside the business firewall. Passageways predict that "With the tablet crazy sustaining and executive suite increasingly walking into meetings with iPads, most employee intranets and (especially) board portals will be accessed using the mobile browsers. Mobile apps through iTunes will also become more popular and start to be demanded by end users".

The boasts of Apple's CEO Tim Cook, that "93% of the Fortune 500 are testing or deploying the iPhone; 92% of the Fortune 500 are testing or deploying the iPad" seem to bear that out.

If you need to start thinking about publishing for the mobile intranet as well as the desktop one, what are the main considerations?

There are some resources on the web to get you started thinking about it. The Digital Workplace Trends 2012 report is a bit pricey but there are free downloads of the executive summary and some sample pages. Luke Mepham mentions it in his blog post "Milestones on the #intranet mobile roadmap", which may help you spot how far along the mobile road your organisation is.

This presentation from Kristian Norling looks at a case study of building a standards-based mobile intranet for local government in Sweden. Another case study in presentation form is "Mobile - mandatory" by Dan Lewis at The Judge Group.

One word of caution though – I think, for as long as I've been involved in digital media, next year has always been billed as "the year of mobile".


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Martin Belam is Information Architect for Before joining The Guardian, he worked as an Internet Consultant with organisations like the BBC, Sony, Vodafone and the Science Museum.

Martin also blogs about information architecture and the media at and can be found on Twitter as @currybet.

Martin can be reached at

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