x-Early Perspectives

Intranet-readiness – 3 stages

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


I define “intranet-readiness” as follows: the intranet is ready to support people, the organisation and the business of the organisation. (Post edited 15 April 2010 to reflect current terminology of “stages” which were  previously referred to as “classes”.)

The findings from the 2007 Global Intranet Strategies Survey enabled me to define 3 stages of organisations.

  1. Stage  3 where the intranet is ready today. It is already the “way of working” for people.
  2. Stage  2 – Intranet-readiness is 1 or 2 years away (as stated in July-August 2007) therefore now – one year later – probably 1 year away.
  3. Stage 1 – Intranet-readiness is 3 to 5 years away.

Among the findings from the 2007 data :

  • Stage 3 is more likely to have a 2.0 strategy.
  • The way organisations regulate choice of tools and policies for collaboration tends to be different depending on the stage. In Stage 3, the tool choice is highly regulated and usage policies are more common, but there is less control over who can create collaborative spaces.
  • Stage 3 organisations have a much lower dissatisfaction rate with the enterprise search implementation.
  • They are also the ones who allocate more resources to search (although not enough), analyse the search logs more frequently (again not enough), and offer more user controls and more flexible search results pages.

Let’s take a look at how the 3 stages differ in terms of context, size and other characteristics:

  • Stages 1 and 2 have had significantly more organisational changes and restructuring than Stage 3. (nearly 20 points more likely)
  • The main difference is in intranet sponsor changes where it is more than twice as likely in Stages 1 and 2 than in Stage 3.
  • It is more likely that Stages 1 and 2 will consider “communication & common culture” to be the top strategy driver for their intranets than Stage 3 organisations for whom the top driver tends to be “productivity and efficiency”.
  • 80% of senior management in Stage 3 consider the intranet to be “business critical” or “very useful”, compared to just under 40% in Stage 2 and under 20% in Stage 1.
  • There is a much higher degree of integration of business and employee applications in Stage 3 than the others.