Business & Value, Strategy & Decision-making

In times of crisis, is the intranet an afterthought?

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in May 2009 ……


From intranet managers in different countries… 

Our biggest pressure point

Placement/importance of the intranet and its teams within the organisation is by far our biggest pressure point at the moment – in economic crisis, restructures are causing the intranet to be an afterthought more than ever (i.e. ‘oh the intranet, well someone can just keep that up to date, we dont need much headcount for that, theres an economic crisis going on’). The challenges to deliver through the intranet instead of external high-cost mediums means the opposite should be happening in times like this, but it just cannot seem to reach the radars of those at the top.”

Top management claims…

“How can an organisation fulfil all increasing requirements in regards of functions to an Intranet when top management claims the intranet to be the most important internal communication and collaboration channel and at the same time reducing resources both technical and communication wise?”

What about the future?

“We are dealing with extreme downsizing of already stretched intranet teams. How will this impact intranets in the coming years?”

Loss of experience, less time for everyone

“Loss of experienced publishers due to downsizing (crisis). Less time for everyone to maintain “public”, static, non-collaborative content. (e.g. Information about the company, or policies). Public content is important because it provides general information and “body” for people who are not (yet) using collaborative workspaces. How can we motivate owners of policies etc. to realize that their content is important and should be maintained”

My comments:

Organizations are taking huge risks by ignoring or down playing the intranet during these tough times.

Those that decide to leverage the intranet to help the organizations save time, decrease and avoid costs, and communicate and collaborate better are those that will have a better chance at surviving the crisis and becoming stronger.

I wonder how many organizations have actually calculated what they save by downsizing intranet teams versus what they will be losing.

Practically none, in my opinion.