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Intranet management strategies and resources
Tuesday, 10th April 2012
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
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.
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By Michelle Manafy
Michelle Manafy is the senior editor of Min, which publishes the Media Industry Newsletter — the go-to resources for advertising data, news, deals, trends and personnel moves shaping the consumer magazine publishing industry — and hosts the industry's premier events and awards programs. Previously, Michelle held the position of Editor-in-chief at Free Pint Limited, a global publisher of sites, research and resources that support the value of information in the enterprise. Prior to joining FreePint, Michelle served as the Editorial Director of the Enterprise Group for Information Today, Inc. where she was editor of EContent Magazine and chair of the Buying & Selling eContent Conference and Enterprise Search Summits. She is the co-editor of and a contributor to the book Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step With the Generation That's Transforming the Way Business is Done (May 2011, CyberAge Books). An award-winning columnist, Michelle's focus is on emerging trends in digital content and how they shape successful business practices. She speaks at a variety of industry events and serves as a judge for content and technology competitions. She has worked in book and magazine publishing for more than 20 years in areas ranging from pop culture to academic nonfiction and holds a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University.
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