why many intranets fail (and what to do)
Most organizations prefer not to talk about it, but many intranets are slowly dying. During our visit to the Digital Workplace & Intranet Summit 2014 in Chicago, researchers reported that in time 90 % of all intranets will be not or hardly used. Of course, this is not only a major financial disinvestment, but also a missed opportunity to better inform the organization and help it take better decisions. Besides the fact that the organization will obviously become sceptical about intranets and ICT in general.
the main reason
Which possible reasons are there to stop using an intranet, over time? In fact, there are quite a few, but perhaps the main reason is, that the management does not consider the intranet as a strategic part of the modern workspace for the connected, modern employee.
I am talking about the modern workspace, fully enabling the connected modern staff to take better decisions and to carry out better actions than in the past hundred years. This modern connected employee with all technology and supporting organization is called the “Digital WorkSpace” (DWS). Unfortunately, the majority of the current managers do not consider the DWS as one of their most important ‘assets’ to realize their corporate objectives yet.
An intranet can be an important part of a Digital WorkSpace (DWS). Surely, the intranet is able to ensure that employees are connected, inform each other, take smarter decisions, find each other and work together. The intranet as a part of the DWS could even be one of the most important ‘sources’ for an organization to reach its objectives. If the managers of the organization have another opinion or do not recognize this at all, the intranet will very likely become a separate entity and, in the end, possibly a disinvestment. Money gone, and illusions too.
It is therefore of the utmost importance that, however rudimentary the intranet may be, it is part of the understanding that the connected, modern decision-making employee, who has access to all relevant business information and expertise, is of crucial importance for the existence of the organization. Only when this understanding is present at the highest level, the intranet will be given the attention it deserves, and the intranet can contribute to the value of the company.
When the Digital WorkSpace (DWS), of which the intranet is a part, is considered as strategic:
- measuring will be done
- interventions will take place to improve the DWS/Intranet
- stakeholders will be involved in the development and improvement of the intranet
- development will not be regarded as a project, but as a program
- from the start of the intranet, it will be discussed across the organization
- the DWS will be an integral part of the staff’s working environment
- and the DWS will belong to the whole organization, not only to a department.
prepare the environment
A successful introduction of such an intranet will only work, if the staff’s environment is ‘made ready’ to make use of the intranet as an extra resource for the employees, to reach their goals in an easier and better way. During the implementation of an intranet, (P)eople, (O)rganization and (T)echnology aspects must be taken into consideration. These P.O.T. aspects will have to be balanced to make the Intranet investment work for the organization and the staff.
We are more than proud that we are able to “measure” your planned or existing Intranet environment by means of the scientific research study The Digital Workspace for a connected organization, by Jane McConnell. The result of the analysis will show which interventions may be necessary to make your existing intranet investment render, or ensure a smooth implementation of your new intranet in the future.
People, Organization & Technology
Since 1991 it has been our belief that every organization is about people. About the choices people make during the day, what they are doing all day, with whom they want or do not want to cooperate and share information, if they fulfil their agreements, if they want to work transparently. You could say that people’s behavior determines the ‘performance’ of an organization. Technology is there to help people take better decisions, do the right things, with the right people. Therefore technology, an intranet, can never be seen as a separate entity, but always as part of the whole. People, Organization & Technology.
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