So as the market has only just come to terms with CxM or DxM or WEM – I guess its cruel to throw out yet another acronym and expect there to be cries of joy – but alas is has to be done and here is the business case for it!
Using a survey done by Gallup as one example; They found that in German companies of 100 employees, 16 could be considered to be engaged, 15 actively unengaged (often against the interests of the company) and 69 were ‘unengaged’ or indifferent. The value to this statistic is that if the unengaged can be converted to a status of engaged, the company is healthier and able to outweigh the actively unengaged – and one of the main tools that can be used to achieve such a conversion is… The INTRANET!
Whilst most of the Marketing and IT focus has been driven by vendor, analyst and market realities towards a focus on public facing websites and engaging with a customer that is likely to produce a return that can be measured in a ‘currency’ (to be taken as something of value to the organisation) – the evolution of the intranet has wallowed behind for many a year.
The sad truth is that many organisations fail to see a value in investing in something for which they mistakenly believe they get little return.
Traditionally the Intranet solution has been dominated by the goliaths of the Content Management world who had a focus on Document Management. If you ever get the feeling that ‘intranet = SharePoint’ you are not alone!
Forrester did produce a very compelling Intranet Maturity Model that correctly identifies that companies tend to start with a ‘bucket’ into which everything company related is thrown and gradually move up the scale of maturity to something that could be considered ‘engaging’ – but in reality an intranet has always plodded in many organisations and failed to get the notice it deserves.
A brief snapshot history of Intranets goes something like this;
Basically this amounted to a top down centrally controlled ‘dump’ of corporate governance and policies) has prevailed in many companies as the defacto standard for an intranet for many a year. This suites the ECM vendors DMS products well - as they are great at control, business process management and document/records management – all things ‘governors’ like to hear. However – ever heard the phrase “You can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink ?”
Driven largely by the common persons use of social tools like facebook, twitter, linkedin – the concept of a ‘social intranet’ was born that sought to provide an environment for two way conversation internally. This has led more recently to the emergence of software vendors who ‘sit on top of’ the goliaths Document Management products and provides some ‘motivation’ for returning to an Intranet on a regular basis – as well as a mad scramble by the DMS vendors to add ‘social tools’ to their offerings. They have had a degree of success in moving Intranets from being places you only go when you need a document to something of a ‘visited entity’. But they still generally lack one key component – they are not engaging!