Industry Insights

Social Intranets Don't Work - So Far?

Jade Carter

By Jade Carter

July 4, 2014

We touched on this topic briefly during last month's Rapid Fire segment, when Scott shared his thoughts about a Gartner report which stated that 80% of social intranets will fail through 2015. This shouldn't really by much of a surprise since intranets in general have experienced a plague of terrible installations and ill conceived strategies since their inception. Remind me when the last time you heard about a successfully integrated social intranet. Seriously, leave us a comment (below), we'd love to hear about it.

Social Intranets

Reversing the Trend

So what does the future hold for intranets if we still have no idea how to attract the audience that we so desperately wish to collaborate with? If you can't engage the people in your own organization, something is wrong. Join us on July 24th for The Future of Intranets (register link) where we will ask this question to our very special guests Seth Earley and Richard Harbridge.

'Faith' in the Technology

Getting back to the absence of successful social intranets (or lack thereof). Incredibly, we see enterprise social networking (ESN) installed into intranets that are on their death bed. This sort of shocking decision is paramount to the decision maker's inept vision and and blind faith in the technology rather than having a conversation with the intended audience. Relying on the build it and they will come, ideology is just negligent.

Leading by Example

A major point of failure of the intranet is directly linked to members of the executive leadership refusing to engage. I'm too busy or I'm too important sentiments trickling down from the board room will doom an intranet on day one. C-level staff must lead the charge behind a clear and documented strategy if the solution has any chance of survival. A significant cause of intranet failure is this complete lack of leadership.

Success Stories

As much as we like to glorify the failures (70%-80% failure), there are the diamonds in the rough. Case in point is the massively successful social intranet developed by General Electric Co. which they called Colab. Colab was built using the Cisco WebEx Social (huh?), which incidentally was handed it's 'End of Life' announcement on May 1, 2014 for both the cloud and server solutions. Everything about this rollout worked; they saw more than 3,000 user groups created and have engagement of more than 60,000 of their 300,000 employees. Read this great article with Ron Utterbeck, corporate CIO of General Electric Co. Sadly this was written a couple of years before Cisco decided to mothball the platform. I wonder what they will migrate to now?

Dragging Your Intranet Back from the Deep

let us know in the comments how you've reversed the spiraling death of your collaboration solution. 

How did you integrate the engagement features into the core your organizations workflow or information architecture?

Register for Intranets of the Future. A Webinar on successful collaboration.


Jade Carter

Jade Carter

Jade is a content writer for CMS-Connected, facilitating the needs of the company blog. Bringing 10 years of Search and Digital Marketing to the table, he strives to build informative, relevant and fun editorial posts for the blog feed. Jade is an ultra distance (26.2 miles+) trail runner and lives to run trails in and around his home town of Victoria, BC.

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