The Future of Enterprise Social Networks and Intranets

The Future of Intranets and Enterprise Social Networks

E-book: The Future of Intranets and Enterprise Social Networks—Why Businesses Need an Interactive Intranet

This e-book is designed to help IT professionals understand how intranet and enterprise social network (ESN) technologies are evolving, and why neither traditional intranets nor ESNs alone are sufficient to solve modern collaboration challenges. The e-book is also useful for HR and Corporate Communications professionals interested in better ways to inform, align and engage their workforce using new, more effective solutions.

Why Businesses Need an Alternative to Traditional Enterprise Social Networks and Intranets

Today, too many companies are burdened with aging, neglected intranets that offer only static content, one-way communication and little, if any, collaboration. At the same time, many companies are struggling with the noisy and chaotic communications unleashed by ESNs.

It’s time to go beyond these limited tools to a platform that combines the capabilities of both technologies, along with those of modern collaboration systems, to power faster, more productive communication and collaboration.

The Problem with Traditional Enterprise Social Networks and Intranets

The fast pace and unpredictability of business today places a premium on an organization’s ability to quickly adapt its strategy, offerings and processes to the fast-changing marketplace. Work is becoming increasingly unstructured and non-routine, with employees expected to rapidly solve a constantly changing mix of challenges. Traditional intranets, with their rigid, content-centric structure, are a hindrance, not a help.

Old-school intranets only offer one-way communication, not the fluid interaction that modern collaboration demands. Publishing and content curation are top-down, inhibiting the free flow of information. Traditional platforms are difficult to update and modify, slowing improvements and driving up costs.

While traditional intranets are far too rigid, ESNs have the opposite problem. They’re completely unstructured, disorganized and unfiltered. Conversations proliferate ad infinitum, overwhelming users with noise. These conversations happen apart from the projects, business processes and content they apply to (the talk is disconnected from the  thing being talked about). The result is hundreds or thousands of threads, often devoid of context, siloed and unorganized, leading to confusion and chaos instead of supporting actual processes and business objectives.

The Difference Between Traditional Intranets and Enterprise Social Networks

Traditional intranets are built for managing and controlling content. ESNs are built to facilitate spontaneous networking and conversation. It’s clear that neither is sufficient for most organizations. Their complementary natures and functionality cry out for integration into a single entity—one that combines robust content collaboration with frictionless conversation and networking in a way that’s organized around actual business processes and objectives. That’s the goal of the interactive intranet.

What Is an Interactive Intranet?

An interactive intranet brings together the best capabilities of traditional intranets, ESNs and modern collaboration systems. It provides a single, cohesive environment for company communications, collaboration and knowledge-sharing. It supports multi-directional communications: not only top-down, but bottom up and peer-to-peer. It powers collaboration at every level: team, departmental, enterprise-wide and beyond (even with outside contractors, partners and agencies).

An interactive intranet enables fluid interactions and networking like an ESN, but unlike ESNs, everything takes place in context, organized around actual business processes and objectives. Conversations occur alongside the content and projects they apply to. Employees no longer spend much or most of their piecing together processes scattered across dozens of disconnected systems and threads. Everything needed to get work done is gathered in convenient process- and project-centric spaces. This is even true for activity and content originating in external tools. Thanks to built-in integrations, best-of-breed interactive intranets can pull that external information into a common organized environment, eliminating the frustration of working across multiple disconnected apps. Email, Salesforce records, Google Documents, Office 365 content–they’re all in one place.

The Business Value of an Interactive Intranet for IT and Business Stakeholders

An interactive intranet is an investment that gives big returns. Benefits include reduced operational costs, increased organizational productivity, improved customer satisfaction, more engaged employees and higher overall performance. 

This e-book, written by Larry Hawes, Principal Analyst at Dow Brook Advisory Services, will help you determine what can be done to update your organization’s intranet to make it an interactive one, or implement an interactive intranet for the very first time. Learn:

  • How intranets have evolved over time and why they’re no longer delivering value in today’s workplace
  • The three key interactions of an interactive intranet, and how they deliver more value than traditional intranets and ESNs
  • The benefits and business value of an interactive intranet to both IT and business stakeholders

Make your intranet truly interactive: download the e-book and learn how.