Making or breaking the intranet

Two years ago, there were big questions about the intranet, which in many places had to fight for its right to exist because many believed that Teams could meet their needs and more. Today, the intranet is doing better, but the question is whether it's time to move on? At this year's Sitevision days, intranet evangelists Anna-Karin Jungander and Johan Nilsson talked about the intranet's "to be or not to be" and sought answers to the question of whether we are doing ourselves a disservice by insisting on the term "intranet"?

Tumme upp eller tumme ner för intranätets framtid?

But first, how are today's intranets doing?

The annual trend report "How is Sweden's intranet?" from Web Service Award has for several years shown a declining interest in the intranet among the country's management teams. In the report, around 300 intranet managers answer a series of questions about their organization's work with the intranet – and in this year's report, only 36 percent responded that they have measurable goals for the intranet. Of these 36 percent, only 18 percent report to management on how they are doing in achieving their goals.

The report also shows that only 10 percent would change the CMS for the intranet, which is a significant decrease from the previous year, when 29 percent would change the CMS.

These figures suggest that the intranet is not a high priority in our organizations. The question is whether this could be due to old-fashioned and outdated associations with the concept of intranets, as the rise of hybrid working is actually placing even greater demands on a digital workplace?

The role of the intranet in 2023

Today's intranets tend to be either a standalone information platform or a platform with ambitions to take greater digital responsibility in areas such as productivity, engagement and wellbeing.

Let's take a closer look at the latter option, which has become a hot potato in the market and is often referred to as the digital employee experience. A concept where the intranet is seen as an enabler to support more elements and areas than just internal news and information.

For example, we see many modern intranets building or integrating various SaaS products within analytics, gamification and digital learning to support critical business moments.

This is a result of a democratized digitalization where more parts of the business collaborate and benefit from the same technology. Already in 2022, for example, HR received more attention and resources for digitalization, leading to an explosion in the market for employee surveys, digital learning and onboarding. This was important to attract and retain talent and to work continuously with competence development.

But should we invest in a new intranet?

Yes, we should: Yes. In the context of increased hybrid working and the global market situation, the need for information and collaboration opportunities has never been greater than today. But the question is whether we should stop using the term "intranet" and call it a business system to get the right attention from management.

If we can instead deduce how our systems and applications support business processes and contribute to the core business, we create much better conditions for getting the right resources for digitalization. In addition, if we can spice up the value of the intranet with "new" elements such as digital learning or onboarding, we also get support and help from HR and can cover several needs in the same solution.




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