A recent discussion on the Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC) LinkedIn group asked the following question:
"What do you think are the three hottest / most relevant topics in the world of intranets and portals?".
22 comments were received. Based purely on the number of comments it would seem the 3 hottest intranet topics are:
- Social media and collaboration
- Personalisation and targeting of content
Closely followed by promoting intranet use, cloud computing, mobile access, as a portal to corporate data and demonstrating benefits. Surprisingly the usually popular topic of 'finding information' didn't get much of a mention. Below is a grouping of all comments by topic.
Social Media & collaboration
- Utilising social media tools inside the firewall (wiki, blog, microblogging, tagging, bookmarking,recommending etc...)
- Social media and collaboration
- Collaboration. Ensuring that this is easy and is pertinent to the problems being dealt with in the workplace is key.
- Privacy and the social web - protecting your personal privacy in a connected world, talking about work on personal websites/blogs, identity management at work/at home, sharing information between secure work and private home email/apps/social networks.
- Social (... aka creating a framework for dialogue and community): How can we translate the success of facebook, twitter and other tools to the enterprise, and use these features profitably?
- Using social media principles within the intranet for knowledge sharing and collaboration.
- Enterprise social networking
- Global collaboration
- Social Media and networking. How to not get overwhelmed with it and not abuse your networks.
- How to convince social media-averse management that blogs aren't shiny, new, untested tools, but in fact are now rather old school?
Personalization and targeting of content
- Targeting of content
- Presenting content in the context of the consumer, not the owner
- I also think personalisation is a good one,
- Personalisation (...aka making the intranet unique and relevant): Through allowing personalisation, you create a custom communication destination for every employee, improving relevance and traffic to all sectors.
- The use of 'relevancy' and 'context' to deliver content to users dynamically.
- Governance - how to control the 'out of control' portal
- Content strategy and governance
- How do you survive when company intranet portal is down". Think of it in terms of non available key applications, crisis communication, alternate communication flows for pushing messages and status of recovery actions, company culture and synergy, etc, etc...
- Ownership and tracking of content will help users to publish what people need to know in a form that users want it. This should prevent an accumulation of data waste in corporate storage, eliminate thousands of un-accessed pages and significantly improve company competitiveness.
- How can we make people use the intranet? Why do I have to put content on the intranet? Nobody uses it.
- Building and maintaining an intranet authoring community
- Encouraging adoption - how to get best use out of existing systems, how to introduce new services, how to evangelise benefits, etc...
- Cloud computing and the virtual workforce
- Cloud collaboration - move to the cloud or not? What to move and what to keep internally? What does this mean for data/network security, intellectual property, data protection, content migration, budget, planning, etc...
- Will corporates move to Cloud computing and if so what will that mean for intranets and portals ?
- Mobile (.. aka extending the reach of your intranet beyond the desktop): We have a large workforce most of whom do not work from an office. We've deployed kiosks for those without computers, but we're now looking at Digital Signage integration and mobile access.
- Access to content on the intranet via mobile applications.
As a portal to applications
- Using the intranet as a portal to apps such as Oracle and SAP
- Presenting relevant data and information from business systems in the portal
- Intranets are increasingly about 1 topic: the connection between and integration of people and stuff
- How communications can support a business
- The one topic I see us as business communicatrs having to focus on more and more is proving ROI on Intranet investment. How can we measure and report, not just in qualitative terms, but through quantitative metrics, how and to what extent the intranet adds value to the bottom line of the business. How exactly do we reduce cost and/or add value through expanding the communications within the organization?
- Goal: What are the perceived benefits like cost avoidance, saves, employee engagement, communication, knowledge management?
Other topics listed in the discussion include
- Improving business processes
- Automation of forms and processes
- Make it easy to share information
- Search is always a top issue, making sure content is easy to find and that results are relevant.
- Using the intranet to assist with innovation
- Using the intranet to manage change
- Using the intranet to improve employee engagement
- User experience design
- User Experience and Design. Adoption and productivity suffer without this.
- Unified Communications is increasingly becoming important.
- How: Tools to be used like, interactive forums, bulletin board, micro blogging, corporate directory, search feature, Employee pages/ profiles etc.
- Implementation : using cloud or in house development, cost, ROI.
- Translation is a looming issue
- Front line staff and internal communicators must be trained to concentrate on more effective and tighter written content.
- Will video telephony take off and what will the impact be ?
- Having an "intranet" is short sighted. What happens when you need to open it up to suppliers and customers? Is a company being to internally focused the right approach?
You can read the complete discussion on the WIC LinkedIn group (you need to be a member).