ReadWriteWeb has a fun little series called “What Ever Happened To…”. Their first post was about Start Pages (you can see my thoughts here) and today they’ve posted on Intranets. While I don’t actually think these technologies have totally disappeared, I do agree that they have, or are, radically changing.
Most enterprise companies have an intranet, and most of them suck? Why do they suck? They’re treated like an afterthought, receive very little budgets (comparatively) and have almost zero interactivity.
While intranets aren’t going away, IT departments are having to quickly scramble to keep their employees from using external tools which lack the security and control company information needs.
Back in the end of 2009, one of my Top 5 Predictions For The Next 5 Years was that intranets would begin integrating with social media. We’ve seen this with both additional social functionality from established players like Microsoft SharePoint (a client) and new players like Jive, Socialcast and others. But we’ve also started to see direct integration of external social networks into internal products like Outlook and SharePoint (and I’m sure the new players do this as well).
The reason I this is important is because as businesses push towards becoming “Social Businesses” most of that movement is just talk and hype. Companies are willing to be social in their marketing and external marketing, but they’re reluctant to spend the time, resources and money on internal social opportunities. Which I think for many companies will prove to be more valuable than their external efforts.