Mobile devices become ubiquitous in the consumer space, with “there’s an app for that” reshaping how people get access to information on the move. Up to now, however, the situation within organisations has lagged far behind.
In many cases, staff can’t even access corporate information from home, let alone on mobile devices. Thankfully this is now changing, and innovative organizations are now mobilising their intranets and corporate systems. This has a real impact for staff on the go, transforming intranets into essential tools which makes their working day easier.
Two very different organizations show the way. In the UK Parliament, MPs are hardly ever at their desks. Now they can receive essential real-time updates of what’s happening in the chambers and committees directly to their phone, all wrapped up in a beautifully designed interface perfect for the mobile environment.
At Queensland University of Technology (QUT), staff and students are provided with a mobile interface to access key information, wherever they are on the campus. This includes exam results, photocopy credits, campus bus times, and breaking news.
This is one of the key themes to emerge from the 2011 intranet Innovations Awards, the annual global competition run by Step Two Designs. Now into its fifth year, the awards attracted over 50 entries showcasing some of most innovative intranets from all over the world.
James Robertson, managing director and founder of Step Two Designs, said “Three of our winners this year were superbly executed mobile intranet projects. By absolutely focusing on the user and cherry picking only the applications and content that are essential when out and about, the intranet teams have delivered huge benefits with relatively little cost.”
Robertson continued “I expect there will be more mobile entries in next year’s awards. With widely available connectivity and increasingly sophisticated devices, it is possible that mobile intranets will start to have more impact than their traditional desktop counterparts, particularly where the user population is out in the field or in the frontline.”
Beyond mobile access, innovative intranets do much more. The overall Platinum award winner for 2011 is Framestore, a UK-based animation studio who produce visual effects for movies, television and commercials. Other winners this year come from France, USA, Denmark and Australia.