Microsoft SharePoint

Recommended Resource: Global Intranet Trends for 2011

I spent an hour yesterday afternoon reviewing Jane McConnell’s latest publication – the Global Intranet Trends 2011 report. This is the fifth year Jane has surveyed intranet managers on the state of intranets, and thus Jane has a wealth of real world data to aggregate and share. This she does admirably in her annual reports.

The report talks to, and shares current practice on many topics. The collaboration pieces are of especial interest to me, such as:

  • The relationship of collaboration and social media to the Intranet. Is it part of it, or something completely different? One participant quote stood out to me: “As SharePoint is rolled out at our enterprise, it is stealing the business purpose from the Intranet. Intranet has become a static site with company-down communications that are updated occasionally. Day-to-day work is moving to SharePoint.
  • Five megatrends on the Intranet, including the integration of project and collaborative spaces on the Intranet. See Jane’s blog post about these trends for more information.
  • With respect to the megatrends, I was struck with the comparability to my 7 Pillars model for team collaboration, especially Pillar 1 (megatrend 1), Pillar 2 (megatrend 5), and Pillars 3 and 5 (megatrend 4).
  • Early in the report, Jane states that governance is essential, not just to cover the traditional content publishing function of the Intranet, but also collaboration and social media.
  • Jane asked participants about the drivers for social media. Collaboration and teamwork were a key driver (page 29).
  • Participants commented on the value they had received from social media – and that most of it was from soft benefits. E.g., “more effective knowledge-sharing” ranked highly.
  • The differentiation between “leaders” and “others” made for interesting reading. From a collaboration perspective, it was really interested to note that they “have more guidelines for “new” issues, such as opening and closing of collaborative spaces” (page 72).

In terms of practical details and background:
– The results are from a 100-question survey, with 440 organizations. Respondents had intranet management roles.
– The report is 103 pages in length, and is filled with graphics, quotes, and Jane’s analysis and commentary.
– It costs €550 to purchase a copy for your organization. See purchasing details.

My Reaction to the Report
As with previous years, I love this report because:
– It gives real numbers and trends about what organizations are doing.
– I like the way Jane split out the “leaders” from the “others” this year. It makes the report not just informational, but also aspirational. It gives Intranet teams something to think about reaching for.
– The direct quotations from the respondents is invaluable. You get to see what real people are saying – in their own words.

To get the benefit of the report, you will need to drink deeply from the wisdom contained on the pages. A quick read will not suffice.

If you have any involvement in managing or governing the use of the Intranet or collaboration spaces at your organization, this report is a “must-have.”

For those of you in Australia and New Zealand, don’t forget that Jane McConnell will be presenting a keynote and workshop at Intranets 2011 in Sydney, in May.

2 replies »

  1. Hi Michael, 
I like your comment about your pillars and the 5 megatrends. You’re right. 

    One of the big governance obstacles I’m encountering with clients these days is the different ways people understand the word “collaboration”. It ranges from discovering people on social networks to structured work on projects. It’s causing a lot of confusion and (sometimes) unnecessary conflict when it comes to discussions about what belongs where. A post from you with some definitions would be great.

    One thing for sure: collaboration moving into the intranet (or digital workplace) has been key in attracting interest and attention of senior management in some organizations I work with.