Intranets are changing. With new technology and ways of working, intranets in many organisations are becoming much more than they’ve ever been before.
From what we’re seeing, this is making 2013 the year of “intranet plus”.
This means the traditional role of intranets (corporate and local content plus news) with a wider scope or extra functionality.
- intranet plus collaboration
- intranet plus social
- intranet plus document management
- intranet plus business process automation
The idea of “the intranet” is very much alive, but projects that are currently underway have bigger ambitions. Whether tackling social or business process, there is now an expectation that more will be delivered.
This offers a number of benefits:
- Greater value for organisations, with a much wider set of potential business benefits.
- Better alignment to new ways of working, with intranets responding to organisational needs, changes and pressures.
- Better connection with staff, as intranets more directly supporting day-to-day work.
- Stronger business cases, when projects go beyond trying to demonstrate ROI for content and news.
- More fun (!), with projects delivering much more interesting functionality for all involved.
This “intranet plus” approach has a number of challenges:
- It can be hard to align solutions, with some of the “plus” elements potentially being delivered via separate tools and platforms (eg intranet plus separate social media platform).
- Lines can become blurred, between the intranet, other project deliverables, and the wider IT/business environment.
- Planning and design activities become paramount, as projects aim to deliver greater functionality, often in unfamiliar areas.
- Adoption is key, with “plus” elements requiring direct engagement and use from the majority of staff.
- Projects need strong support and resources, to deliver more and better functionality.
Overall, “intranet plus” is an effective and approachable way of meeting growing organisational needs. In due course, many of these sites may evolve into “digital workplaces”, but in the short term, adding on to what’s already there can’t hurt!
What are you seeing? Are you considering an “intranet plus” project?