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Tuesday, 10th April 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

Abstract

With the promise of providing a central place for internal communication and collaboration, intranets are viewed as an essential tool for many enterprises. However from the end user perspective, intranets are often seen as little more than, at best, a glorified employee directory or, at worst, a necessary (if evil) interface to access corporate information and tools. There are, of course, stellar intranets that live up to their potential. Achieving the fundamental promise of intranets, much less the successful integration of social features, requires strategic planning and governance

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With the promise of providing a central place for internal communication and collaboration, intranets are viewed as an essential tool for many enterprises. However from the end user perspective, intranets are often seen as little more than, at best, a glorified employee directory or, at worst, a necessary (if evil) interface to access corporate information and tools.

There are, of course, stellar intranets that live up to their potential. These offer an inviting nexus for employee interaction around information, a natural extension of workflow where knowledge is easily retained and reused without requiring staff to take a single extra step. Certainly, the increasing use of public social networking and collaborative tools provides an expectation of a similar experience inside organisations. And if implemented well, a properly socialised intranet can lead to higher information discovery, usage and employee interaction.

Thus it comes as little surprise that, according to the Digital Workplace Trends 2012 report by NetStrategy/JMC, the percentage of organisations that have some form of social media in their organisations increased by 10% from 2010 to 2011. And half of the organisations NetStrategy surveyed say they are planning to increase their investment in social collaborative initiatives. The goals commonly cited for implementing these tools are to improve knowledge sharing and to better engage and inform employees.

These findings are reinforced by the recent FreePint Research Report: Information Governance, Policies and Priorities, which states that “smarter intranets can support user awareness, as can implementation of peer-to-peer social support or social networks behind the firewall.” However NetStrategy finds that most companies are still in the early stages of learning how to integrate social features into business activities.

Achieving the fundamental promise of intranets, much less the successful integration of social features, requires strategic planning and governance. According to NetStrategy, Communication and IT departments have traditionally been (and remain) the most common “owners” of the intranet. However, HR and Knowledge Management are also beginning to take a degree of ownership and today some organisations are forming “digital boards”, which include representatives from various business functions. These boards facilitate coordinated decision-making for the intranet, collaborative spaces, social tools, external websites and social networking platforms.

Effective intranets require more than the latest content management, collaborative or social tools. To work well, they must be driven by strategic management to become an integral part of the way employees work. Here, we provide insights and information about tools, techniques and strategies to improve intranet management in order to help your organisation’s intranet move beyond being an information repository to become a hive of employee interaction and engagement.

This is the introduction to the FreePint Report: Buyer's Guide on Intranet Management, which also includes articles on the social intranet, incorporating LinkedIn with your intranet, SharePoint case studies and big data.

Request your free copy of this report now >>

 

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