x-Early Perspectives

Global Intranet Trends for 2008

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in November 2007 ……

Intranet = the way of working now or very soon

  • The intranet already is “the way of working” or will be in 1 or 2 years for over half the organisations in the survey population. Half say that today employees would be disturbed in their work if the intranet “went down” for 1 to 2 hours, with the figure reaching 3 out of 4 if it “went down” for 24 hours.
  • Yet only 1 out of 5 of the organisations say their senior management considers the intranet to be business critical. However this is up nearly 5 points from 2006! So things are improving.

Users come first – at last!

  • Focus on users is at the top of the list of investments.
  • Usability is a key strategy driver and user-centred design & usability, cited by 3 out of 5 organisations, will be the top investment area for the next 2 years.

Search is suffering

  • Nowadays when “search rules” on the internet, it is disappointing that nearly 3 out of 5 organisations are “not really satisfied” or “not satisfied at all” with their intranet search.
  • However, most  do not make the necessary effort to optimise search. Well over half have “less than one person” who works on supporting and optimising search. Very few have taxonomies, and not nearly enough do analysis on the search logs.

2.0 is making headway

  • 2.0 tools and technologies are being tested by a majority of organisations and visibly integrated into the intranet by many.
  • Organisations where the intranet already is or will soon become “the way of working” are more involved in 2.0 than the others. 4 out of 5 compared to 3 out of 5 in the full survey population).
  • 1 out of 3 of these organisations are bringing the topic to the forefront, as shown by the fact that they are starting or have established an official 2.0 strategy.

Fears for an “underground” intranet unfounded

  • Wikis and blogs do not constitute an “underground intranet” as many people feared would happen.
  • Over half of the 2.0 population plan to or have already integrated them into the intranet navigation, also making them searchable with the intranet search tool.

Major obstacles still lie with senior management

The top 3 obstacles according to 2 out of 5 organisations considered to be “a serious obstacle that holds us back” are:

  1. Intranet not seen as a priority
  2. Lack of awareness of the potential role of the intranet
  3. Lack of ownership at a senior level

About the 2007 Global Intranet Survey

178 companies and organisations around the world participated in the second annual Global Intranet & Portal Strategies Survey. They include 45 % headquartered in Europe, 43 % in North America, 10 % in Asia-Pacific and 2 % in other parts of the world. 72 % are in the private sector, 20 % in the public sector, 4 % are associations, and 4 % are extraterritorial world bodies  and NGOs.

Over half the organisations have more than 15,000 employees, including 13 % with over 100,000 employees. All areas of activity are represented from services to goods, basic materials, technology and many others.