Social & Cooperation

2.0 not yet considered valuable for business

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in June 2008 ……


The following bullet points are from my keynote at the Intranet 2.0 conference in London this month: “What web 2.0 means for your intranet: hype, reality and future trends” and the different case studies presented over the 2 days.

2.0 can serve as an accelerator for intranets. 

Organisations  with Stage 3 intranets (= way of working today) are approaching enterprise 2.0 issues differently from the others:

  • They have a higher degree of senior management involvement
  • They have defined rules and guidelines
  • They leave their people freer to choose to blog or open a wiki
  • They have integrated the 2.0 places into the mainstream intranet navigation and search

50% is the magic number. 

Based on data from the 2007 Global Intranet Strategies Survey:

  • 50% of all organisations will have either tested or integrated 2.0 tools by the end of 2007.
  • 50% of some survey segments will have established their 2.0 strategies by the end of 2007. (Stage 3, enterprises with over 50,000 employees, organisations where senior management consider the intranet to be essential, …)

A missing business objective of enterprise 2.0 technologies: bring “equality” to the workplace. 

This is something that tends to be missing in the vast majority of case studies I’ve seen here and in other conferences)

  • Make it easier for ideas and people to become visible. For example, enable anyone to show what they can do, discover “hidden” experts who are “brought up to the surface” – and enabled to do more, to share their specific knowledge. One speaker described how the Q&A in a CEO chat session uncovered a person with deep expertise on a subject that was strategic and at a critical point in one of their markets.
  • Another example: Let people far away from the “centre” (or in countries where travel is difficult or expensive) to participate in meetings and therefore decision-making. In fact, the very concept of “centre” is evolving. It’s hard to define “centre” when you’re working as a connected network of people.

Employees are being given more choices. 

“Digital natives want their information delivered to them; they don’t want to go to the intranet to get it.”

Cases shown:

  • TNT top management does podcasts – short and targeted, employees can therefore listen when and where they want
  • Ericsson: employees choose when and how they will access information: text, email, RSS feed, intranet

Governance is still a key issue for many organisations. 

  • SAP intranet: two types of governance: managed and unmanaged content. Have moved back to a more centralised publishing model to get information on line faster and to improve quality – trained publishers, their fulltime job.

My observation: this is an interesting move, which goes against the trend over past years of de-centralised publishing, making people responsible themselves for getting their content on the intranet.

The role of communication teams in the intranet leadership role is being questioned. 

This conference was designed for internal communication managers, which explains the fact that 90% of the participants were communicators.

One participant, who himself is in charge of internal communication, challenged his fellow conference delegates by saying: “Collaboration is not an internal communications thing – it’s much bigger – it’s about productivity.” He did not get much of a reaction!

I agree completely with his view, and would say that any enterprise who leaves the management of the intranet landscape to the communication teams will hopefully have communicators who know how and when to engage the rest of the enterprise functions and leaders.

That said, I personally work with a lot of communicators who do just that, and who in fact, are the drivers behind making the intranet an enterprise-owned venture.