Digital Transformation

Are Intranets a Waste of Time?

Andrew Wright posted at story at ragan.com titled Are intranets a waste of time or valuable? Survey says … where he looks at data concerning the usage of an intranet vs perceived value.

We have been called into many companies to help them improve their intranet because of a variety of reasons.  A lot of the time, the blame goes to bad or stale content.  In other cases we discover that finding information is cumbersome due to navigational or search issues. However, in most cases management sees the value of the intranet, but in its current form, it is not providing value.

Wright concludes that the more time people spend on the intranet, the more valuable it is to them.  And he provides the data to back up that claim.  In the first chart shown here,Time vs Value Wright correlates the amount of time spent using the intranet versus the perceived value.  It is pretty clear that the people who spend more time on the intranet find it more valuable.

In looking at building intranets then, we need to find a way to keep the users more engaged.  How do we go about doing this?

There are a few well know ways to promote this feeling of engagement:

  • Provide relevant, personalized content
  • Make the site highly interactive
  • Put the intranet into the context of daily work
  • Use gamification techniques
  • Eliminate barriers such as multiple sign-ons, slow response times, etc.

In fact, Wright shows another chart that correlates time spent on the intranet with the sites interactivity.  Time vs InteractivityAgain, you see the strong correlation between the two dimensions.

Intranets can be very valuable to employees, especially when implemented correctly.  If you are having bad experiences with your intranet, the first step to fixing the problem is to figure out how long your users are staying on the site. Then  you may be on your way to understanding the problem.

Thoughts on “Are Intranets a Waste of Time?”

  1. Hello Mark,
    Nice Article. At Persistent, we have taken the concept of Intranet to a new level by leveraging email and Instant message infrastructure. Now most of the data can be queried by email/Instant chat autobots. Users have to send a query in subject or type it in instant chat window like customer:microsoft or search: and the bot provides instant response on the query. This has resulted in multi fold productivity and usage of the system. Portals I feel are slowly turning to be a cliche and ends up being a pain when there are multiple of them. Let me know if you need to see a demo of this

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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