I’ve been looking at a number of “social” and “enterprise 2.0” intranet solutions recently. (I won’t name them, as we maintain strict vendor-neutrality.)
These are all intended to be out-of-the-box intranet solutions for medium-sized organisations, and they provide rich social functionality. This includes:
- team spaces
- social updates (eg Facebook/Twitter)
- rich personal profiles
- home-page “latest updates” displays
These solutions are clean and polished. There’s plenty of activity when you first log on, and a real sense that “something’s happening”. So far, so good.
Call me old-fashioned, but they do seem to be missing some very basic intranet capabilities. For example:
- Where do I find HR information, such as the leave policy?
- What about the leave form?
- Can I fill out forms online?
- Is there any “corporate” information at all, or is everything organised by teams?
- Where are the links to my key tools?
- From a corporate perspective, how do I manage what’s displayed on the homepage?
It seems to me that the pendulum has swung too far the other way with some of these tools. I agree completely with those who criticise “typical” intranets as being flat, boring and lacking any recognition of the human element.
That being said, abandoning all corporate information, tools, forms and processes seems like foolishness. Sure, it’s not exciting, but can we really replace these with nothing but team-level social interaction?
Am I missing something here?