Social media are challenging the intranet

November 9, 2010

Social media are triggering fundamental questions about intranets and their role in the organization.

Enterprises are being forced to clarify their strategies for communication, collaboration and doing business internally. In many organizations, the intranet, collaborative spaces and new social media features are competing for the attention of people and management.

It is not yet obvious to most organizations how to leverage social media. The relation between social media and the intranet is not clear for most organizations. It is clear, however, that social media are here to stay.

A major challenge for 2011 is to include social media in the intranet in ways that make sense for people and business.

  • Social media are now present inside 70 % of the organizations.
  • Blogs and wikis are now present in 55 % of the organizations.
  • Social networking is in 22% of the organizations; micro-blogging (e.g. Twitter, Yammer) in 26 %.

The figures above include pilots, limited deployment and enterprise-wide deployment. The chart  shows that there is much work still to be done: 20 % of the organizations who have some degree of social media internally feel they have achieved a degree of stability.

Social media maturity

The perception of value from social media is primarily in soft benefits.

Fewer than 20 % of the organizations using social media actually measure or are attempting to measure the value brought by social media. Nearly 50 % intend to measure later.

From 60 to 65% of those with social media say “yes, absolutely” or “yes, quite a lot” when asked if they have observed benefits in these areas:

  • More effective knowledge-sharing
  • Better informed employees
  • More engaged employees

Business-related concerns diminish as experience is gained.

Three types of concerns about social media decrease as the enterprise gains experience:

  • Doubts about the value to the organization
  • Relevancy to business
  • Risk of employees wasting time

Other concerns remain the same, regardless of experience.

  • Findability of information produced through social media tools and channels
  • Security of information
  • “Language silos”

Senior managers are not setting an example.

Senior managers blog in 35% of the organizations. However, many of the blogs seem to be one-way publications rather than true blogs with comments and conversations. While half the senior bloggers write their own posts, only one third of them allow employees to post comments.


Also read:

Introduction to the 3-part series: Global Intranet Trends for 2011

Part 1: Five megatrends are re-shaping the intranet and impacting how people work: leaders are far ahead in these areas.

Part 2: Social media are challenging the intranet: changes must happen if the intranet is to remain relevant.

Part 3: Steering and governing are more essential than ever before.

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Get in touch:

Please share your comments and questions either on this blog, by email or on Twitter (@netjmc). Drop me an email if you’d like to be notified when the report is available for purchase.

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About “Global Intranet Trends for 2011″

The Global Intranet Trends report is unique. Based on an annual worldwide survey now in its 5th year, it provides in-depth insight into what is happening in the “intranet world” inside organizations. Started in 2006 with 100 enterprises, survey participation has quadrupled to 440 organizations headquartered in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Many have participated in the survey for several years. They include some of the largest companies in the world with over 100,000 employees along with smaller organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees. They come from private, government and humanitarian sectors. The survey participants, all of whom have intranet management roles in their organization, answered an online survey of over 100 questions.

“Global Intranet Trends for 2011″, published at the end of October and available for purchase in mid-November 2010, includes detailed charts showing what leading organizations are doing compared to others.

Participants receive a free copy of the report; other organizations can purchase “Global Intranet Trends for 2011″.

The survey and report are managed by Jane McConnell, NetStrategy/JMC.


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