Intranets – stop benchmarking, start leading


For a while now, of all the big analyst firms, Forrester has continued to output some well thought out research and analysis on the information management space. Along with this piece on workforce technology adoption (summarised on ReadWrite Enterprise) and also another on barriers to intranet use (discussed by Bill Ives on the Fast Forward blog).

Still, I’m not sure what the news is here. Intranets have been on a decade long slow burn for a while.

But in a way I think all these reports and benchmarking studies are a actually symptom of the bigger issue. Firstly, we continue to have a narrow view of the ‘intranet’ concept – it is not treated like the Web inside the firewall, rather we continue to think of portals and Web-content management systems. Secondly, intranet managers need to stop benchmarking each other – if all you do is copy, what competitive advantage does your intranet provide (and so it it follows, you are treated like an overhead)? Finally, like any organisational change, introducing new work practices needs to be supported in a sustainable way – there is far too much emphasis on the wrong aspects of self-service and adopting technology without any assistance (self-service should empower users, not simply shift effort from above the line in one department to below the line by shifting it to individual employees).

My advice: Ignore these reports – start leading instead.


One thought on “Intranets – stop benchmarking, start leading

  1. Amen! Very much looking forward to the day when we can get the majority of intranets moving forward, rather than just maintaining the current site…

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