x-Early Perspectives

Global Intranet Trends for 2009 – Highlights

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

The short story if you only have 30 seconds…

3 downsides

Collaboration features and horizontal information flows are weak.

Many intranets are inflexible and risk losing their “raison d’etre”.

Dissatisfaction with search is expressed by 50 percent of the organizations.

3 upsides

Management is getting more involved.

Social media are slowly finding their place behind the firewall.

Dissatisfaction with search is 10 percent lower than last year!


A slightly longer story…

The “way of working” & 3 stages of intranet maturity

Three stages of “intranet maturity” have been defined by NetStrategy/JMC. (The Global Intranet Trends for 2009 provides details on each stage, analyzes the differences and provides guidelines for advancing from one stage to another.)

Stage 1 is where the intranet will become the “way of working” in 3 or 4 years or more. These intranets show signs of lack of strategy, a low level of resources and a very low degree of management attention. If the intranet “goes down” for 1 or 2 hours, 40 percent will be disrupted in daily work activities.

Stage 2 is an intermediary stage where the intranet will become the “way of working” in 1 or 2 years. The tipping point is near and this can be felt by the many planned action areas that will make the intranet the “way of working” “soon. Management is more supportive both in terms of resources and participation. These organizations reported major leaps in the last 12 months in key areas such as the integration of business applications into the intranet. If the intranet “goes down” for 1 or 2 hours, 60 percent are disrupted in daily work activites.

Stage 3 is reached when the intranet is the “way of working” today. These intranets have reached a high degree of maturity and purpose. There is a much stronger usage of collaboration tools and spaces. If the intranet “goes down” for 1 or 2 hours, 90 percent are disrupted in daily work activities.

Stage 3 is not dominated by organizations with a high knowledge-based workforce as one might expect. In fact, very large organizations of over 50,000 employees are more present in Stage 3 as are enterprises with a high proportion of the workforce in manufacturing.

10 Highlights for 2009

The figures below represent the full survey population. They differ, sometimes quite radically, depending on whether the organization is at Stage 1, 2 or 3.

  • Top senior management, specifically the C-level (e.g. CEO) now participates in intranet steering committees in half the enterprises, up from one third in 2007. However, only 14 % say their senior management consider the intranet to be “business critical”.
  • The intranet is becoming the front door into business applications and process with Stage 3 organizations leading by far.
  • The intranet is still weak for collaboration and horizontal information flows in all organizations. The silos are still there in all stages even though Stage 3 is stronger in collaboration than the others.
  • The people side of content management is weak, with few organizations integrating content contribution responsibilities into job descriptions.
  • The majority of employee directories do not reflect the way organizations work today: they are too rigid and too closed.
  • Well over half the organizations have been experimenting with 2.0 tools and technologies for 2 years or more, very few feel they are using them in an optimized way.
  • The very large organizations and Stage 3 organizations are the most advanced for implementing social media in the intranet.
  • Evaluation techniques tend to be statistical and not sufficiently user-oriented. Usability studies and user focus groups are used in fewer than half the organizations.
  • All organizations are struggling to find solutions for virtual teams where employees and external partners work together. This is a priority action area for 2009 for many.
  • Today’s intranet model is not sustainable: intranets must become more user-centered and more flexible for integrating new tools and supporting new ways of working.

About the survey:

226 organizations around the world participated in the 3rd annual Global Intranet Strategies Survey which took place between July and September 2008. The resulting Global Intranet Trends for 2009 report, published November 26.