The Shift from Employee Portal to Social Intranet

Meredith Rock | July 21, 2014

The once popular employee portal was designed to provide a single point of access to an organization’s knowledge base, but has fallen short due to static, out-of-date content or clunky user experience. In today’s increasingly connected world, the way we used to work simply isn’t working.

Employees currently spend 28 hours every week – not on facebook, not playing games – but just trying to get work done. They trudge through emails, try re-inventing the wheel, and spend hours searching for the right information. For a company with 500 knowledge workers at $30 an hour, that equates to over 14,000 wasted hours and over $400,000 in payroll alone! Imagine what could be done with 14,000 extra hours per week. Why are we wasting these hours when we have the technologies to fundamentally change the way we work?

Enter the social intranet. The Social Intranet is the next generation of employee portal, integrating an organization’s knowledge base with social and mobile tools, increasing alignment, collaboration and productivity.

Traditional Employee Portal vs. Social Intranet

  Traditional Employee Portal Social Intranet
Creation:
Communication Top-down, structured Bottom-up, horizontal
Media Text heavy, documents Text, video, graphics, audio, “people”
Knowledge Sources Communication teams, formal “experts” (top-down cascade) All members, experts and advocates (top-down, bottom-up)
Structure Based on organization/lines of business and or products/services Based on member role, location and interests
Content Model One size fits all; post it – they will come Targeted/personalized compelling; subscriptions and alerts
Consumption:
Discovery Search is limited, varies by applications, hunt-and-peck Google-like search, improved findability (people, places, content)
Display Fragmented, poor user interface, multiple sources Consolidated user experience, aggregated dashboards
Involvement Detached: view and browse (some commenting) Engaged: participate and contribute
Access PC based, restricted Mobile, flexible
Timeliness Delayed, static Real time, current

The shift from Employee Portal to Social Intranet may seem daunting, but the move can be simple, and the benefits of having a connected, collaborative workforce far outweigh the costs.

The Social Intranet is truly changing the way we work and helping us get those 14,000 hours back!

*[Source:The Social Economy, McKinsey Global Institute, July 2012]

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