The afternoon session of the Gartner conference started off with a collaboration by Gene Phifer and jim Murphy talking about Employee Portals. Originally, most portals were aimed at employees. More recently vendors and business have been turning to Customer portals. But with the rise of social capabilities, the Employee Portal and Intranet are again a very important topics.
Gene talked about the must-haves for the modern intranet. Here is the list:
- Current must-haves
- Social (profiles, activity streams, tagging, …)
- Business process management
- Analytics and optimization
- Next must-haves
- Mobility, smartphones, tablets support
- Advanced context awareness
- Wish list
- User contributed video and multimedia
- An App store
What is driving these must-haves? Jim and Gene say that nature of work is changing. Here are some factors:
- Blurring of work, home, and social activities
- Global workforce, separated by time and place
- Digital natives joining the workforce (<30 years old, usually)
- Baby-boomers retiring
- Employee and customer empowerment
- Short attention span theater
- Consumerization; parade of new gadgets
- More information; more distraction
Social is also a big deal, but don’t forget that Information management and business process management are still critically important.
Hence the need for a portal platform. Portals are built to integrate a variety of tools together to deliver a complete user experience.
When looking to build out the intranet portal, you have to define your goal of the portal. Below is a list of typical uses of portal. Some companies only want and need a few of these capabilities. Others will want to take their portal all the way. You must evaluate what are the costs versus the effort for each of these capabilities. While it might sound nice to build an online workplace, it can be tremendously costly and require a large amount of effort.
Typical portal uses
- Application gateway: SSO
- Corporate communications, policies
- Self service
- Performance, BI, dashboards
- Composites, process orchestration
- Knowledge/expertise management
- Collaboration, team sites, projects
- Online workplace