It’s interesting to see that some organizations are starting to use Enterprise Social Networks (#ESN) as a replacement for their Intranets.
- The social network becomes the entry door (or ‘Intranet’ homepage)
- Content is no longer static but interactive and dynamic
- The Intranet can suddenly be accessed from any devices, anytime, anywhere
- Users start to adopt the Intranet and do not miss their traditional Intranet in a matter of days
These moves are often justified by the ease of use provided by most Enterprise Social Network solutions, their quick implementation and relatively low costs. To be successful, they require an increase in the resources dedicated to community management. We knew that Enterprise Social Networks were starting to replace emails. The debate is now opened: is the future of collaboration and communication Not the Intranet (by @bmosherzinck)? The answer is probably yes. But that doesn’t imply that the future will only be Enterprise Social Networks. Enterprise Social Networks are just one of the dimensions of what many have been describing as the Digital Workplace. They are the social layer that should go on top of every tools and be, in a sense, the glue that holds it all together. Some vendors are starting to realize the potential of replacing Intranets and are starting to offer Intranet like features. Most however still lack a few essential features of advanced Intranets such as:
- The ability to integrate with enterprise systems beyond providing links
- The ability to manage structured content
- The ability to create and manage authoritative content
- The ability to manage processes
It’s great to see how Enterprise Social Networks how have brought fresh ‘blood’ into traditional Intranets. It is equally exciting to see how some are increasingly improving their features to the point of willing to replace Intranets (and they are quicker to develop new features than most Intranet team is able to). Overall, I think however that we will continue to see Enterprise Social Networks coexist alongside traditional Intranets for sometime to go until they can be fully integrated into the Digital Workplace.
What are your views?