Intranet 2012 predictions
– Niels Bohr
1. Austerity measures and the Olympics will drive companies to enable more home working
The intranet as a ‘digital workplace’ will become a step more real and more people will be encouraged to stay home and use the intranet to share documents and collaborate.
2. SharePoint maintains position, but 2012 is the year of the augmented social
The benefits of collaboration through dynamic community sites and micro-blogging are become more accepted and expected. SharePoint 2010 doesn’t quite cut the mustard in this space and in 2012 we predict many firms will ‘top up’ the social capabilities using tools like Yammer, Newgator, Chatter, Jive, etc. 2012 will be the year when heterogenous intranets will be common even in large enterprises.
3. Measure it with Metrics
Continuing financial crisis causes companies to drive savings and benefits from all of their spend. Intranets will have to prove their worth and demonstrate what’s being used and what’s waste. Good metrics that clearly demonstrate positive and productive outcomes – not outputs – will be key.
4. 2012 is a year for ‘sweating the intranet assets’.
Companies will look for programs designed to increase awareness and adoption of existing tools, rather than add new. When budgets are cut, intranet teams will look for opportunities to get more from what’s there already. The metrics will provide the insight as to how the tools are used; intranet teams will likely develop programs to inform and shape corporate culture.
5. Improve intranet governance; reshape the role of intranet manager
The last 3 years have seen an evolution in intranets, changing from simple internal communication publishing spaces into business-critical collaboration, social, transactional platforms. Your intranet manager is really the Director of Business Enablement.
The demands on search will increase in 2012. Intranet managers everywhere will hear, “I want our search to be more like Google!” Trying to explain to Execs and employees alike that Google spends millions of dollars to deliver dynamic search will fall on deaf’s ears. Companies will want their search functionality to deliver better results with little investment. The results are likely to underwhelm. One (possibly unintended) result will be the growth of localised search linked to specific intranet content or functionality, such as expertise search through better employee profiles.
7. News will no longer be the star of the intranet family
In the last two years, intranet managers have witnessed a shift in the importance of news. Companies are moving away from news centric homepages and putting the focus on collaborative tools . This is evident in Intranet Benchmarking Forum’s monthly IBF Live sessions. In 2012, we will see even a bigger move. Corporate news will no longer be the primary focus of intranets; instead, users will actively visit to use tools that will help them to achieve results. 2012 is the year when intranet functionality becomes king, and not content. It’s through delivering real business value that the intranet will become an essential tool, not simply a nice to have. By 2013 internal communications will cease to be the primary stakeholder for the intranet.
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