Friday, March 2, 2012

Reflecting on the Digital Workplace Trends Report

Recently I published two posts about Jane McConnell's Global Intranet Trends Report 2012. I shared some of the interesting information that can be found in it. In this post I'd like to reflect a bit about the findings.

The usual suspects
Last year I wondered if any progress was made in the intranet space. Some improvements could be seen. But the topics like intranet governance, search and measuring gave lots of organizations a hard time. This hasn't changed much this year.
Even though most intranet managers know these are the topics that can get your intranet from good to great, not very many spend a lot of time on them. Or, and I think this is mostly the case, the intranet managers simply don't have the time and money to spend on them. The intranet is a nice-to-have tool, but not essential to the business.

Share more stories
A big topic for next year's survey could be: How have some moved from a good to a great intranet or digital workplace? What advice do we have to share? I think there is progress to be seen, as I just said. The report shows more are connecting the intranet to the business (processes). And the fact that intranet is being called 'digital workplace' more and more also underlines this trend. It's not the intranet as an extra tool anymore, but the intranet is becoming the place where work is done. It's becoming the employee's workplace.
I enjoyed reading the short quotes in the report sharing little nuggets of advice. Isn't it an idea to share larger nuggets of advice? To made the survey deeper instead of wider? Hopefully this will help the intranet space to really tackle the issues of governance, search and measuring?

Mobile intranet
I'm really curious what next year's results will tell us about mobile. The numbers mentioned in Jane's report relate to what I see and hear in the market. There are organizations working on mobile intranet and investment is up in this area, but not very many are working on it. Relating to the growth of mobile web, this could change rapidly. Also because lots of senior managers have an iPad and want access to the intranet from the iPad...
I also wonder what the respondent's definition of a mobile intranet is. For instance, companies using Yammer or Socialcast have an impliciet mobile intranet. The Yammer and Socialcast app is used a lot. Most of the companies I know have this kind of mobile intranet up and running.

More Dutch participants
And, finally, we have to get more Dutch companies to participate in the survey... I counted just 2 Dutch companies in the list of participants. It's on my To-Do list! ;-)

What do think Jane's survey should focus on next time? Leave a comment and we'll talk about your ideas!

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