Thursday, August 5, 2010

Preliminary feedback from this year's Global Intranet Strategies survey

Participating in Jane McConnell's annual Global Intranet Strategies survey is rewarding in so many ways. Its wonderful to know that you are contributing to a survey that each year provides a valuable snapshot of Intranet trends, developments and strategies from across the globe.
The biggest rewarded comes when participants receive a complimentary copy of the report.

The annual report is an essential reference tool for any Intranet Manager in any sized organisation and I look forward to receiving my copy every year.

There is still time for Intranet Managers to participate in this years survey. You have until the end of August 2010. The more participants, the more useful the data so sign up for the 2010 - 2011 survey today.

Jane has this year provided participants with some preliminary observations from the responses received so far. Please Note that these figures are provisional but definately give you an idea of the valuable information this wonderful survey provides.

Strategy drivers for the intranet are shifting a little
Communication has become even higher as a strategy driver for the intranet: 92% consider it a primary driver compared to 87% last year. Appeal for the new work force has dropped significantly from 17% last year to only 9 % this year.

Collaboration is still in "middle land"
  • Over 30% say "Collaboration spaces are available from the intranet via 1 or more links, but are not well-integrated."
  • Just under 20% say "Collaborative spaces are well-integrated throughout the intranet in different, relevant sections."
  • Around 5 % say "We consider the entire intranet to be "collaborative" and do not make a distinction."
Overall, the use of social media internally is about the same as last year, hovering around 70%.
However, this year we asked you to indicate how many years you've used social media internally. The figures break down fairly evenly from "less than 1 year" up to "3 or 4 years". Percentages range from 17% to 30 % for each segment. 8% responded 5 years or longer! In the final report we will be looking closely at the difference between the early adopters and more recent adopters in terms of results, strategies, experiences and measurement.

Silos exist in the very places where they should not!
75 % of the organizations say "Our employee support functions sometimes work as silos. (HR, Communication, IT, etc.)". This figure is 25 percentage points higher than the other options: collaborative silos, geographical/language silos and value chain silos (logistics, R&D, sales & marketing, etc.). This was a new question in 2010. We will see how it evolves in 2011.

Involvement of senior management in the intranet
Nearly every participant responded to this open text question, so there'll be lots of verbatim in the final report.

If you found the above as interesting and relevant to your Intranet as I do you should definately sign up for the 2010 - 2011 survey today while there is still time.

Follow Jane McConnell on Twitter, @netjmc and subscribe to her NetStrategy/JMC blog for excellent knowledge on Intranets large and small.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Missed It

I am a keen surfer and am very lucky to live near the beach here in Sydney. Unfortunately working full time limits the opportunities I have to go surfing and I am usually restricted to only being able to surf on weekends. I certainly missed out this morning. When this picture was taken at 8am this morning I have already been at my desk for over 2 hours.

Image shows the reef behind Shelly Pool going off. I really should start going to work late instead of rising with the sparrows. Certainly hope this swell hangs around for the weekend.

Image sourced from The Sea Life a pictorial surf report for Cronulla I receive each day.

Mesmerising Kinetic Sculpture

Wow, I have just realise that I did not post in June at all. Perhaps it is something to do with it being the middle of winter here in Australia or perhaps more likely it is because I have been lazy.

Came across this video from the BMW Museum recently and still find it mesmerising.

"The installation consists of 714 metal spheres hanging from thin steel wires attached to individually controlled stepper motors. Covering a six-square-metre area, the spheres enact a seven-minute long mechatronic narrative, creating a representation of the form-finding process in different variations. Moving chaotically at first, the sculpture evolves into several competing forms and eventually resolves as a final shape, which hints at the outlines of well-known BMW automobiles such as the 327, the 1500, the Z4 coupĂ© and the Mille Miglia 2006. The cycle is synchronised with a graphic light strip running around the walls and texts and audio quotes from senior BMW figures on the company’s values and design aims."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Who owns the Intranet?

The question Who owns the Intranet? was asked on Twitter by @danasml from the UK recently and my instant response was “The Users own the Intranet !” . While I am sure most Intranet managers would agree that Intranets are there for the benefit of users, what @danasml was asking was who is financially responsible. What part of the business funds the Intranet? Who has the task of taking any proposed redevelopment business case to the board for consideration? What division is responsible for including money in their budget for the operation and development of the Intranet?

In my case over the past five years the Intranet and its management has been in the IT division, the HR division, the Shared Business Services division and currently the Internal Communications division. I’m sure that if the question was asked of all the Intranet Managers out there that the answers would be just as varied.

The fact is that regardless of what division I have fallen under and who is funding the Intranets operational expenses, I have been able to maintain a kind of autonomy. I know from discussions with other Intranet managers around Australia and abroad that this is not always the case. Some divisions feel that if they fund it, they own it and have the right to use it push their own agenda.

I strongly believe that the Intranet MUST be there for everyone. It is not purely a communication tool for the communicators or a policy and process delivery tool for HR. It is not just a repository for technical documentation or launch pad for the latest browser based applications for IT. The Intranet is all of these things and more and it needs to be managed in a balanced and unbiased way. Wherever in the organisation the Intranet manager sits they need to be an impartial facilitator for all parts of the business.

I think you should try to develop your Intranet over time so that it is a business tool for everyone in the organisation from the executive group to the workers on the coal face. If you can make sure that there is at least one or two specialised functions that each staff member can use to assist them perform their specific role and more importantly ensuring that they are made aware of these tools and how to use them, when it comes time to put your hand out for money it will be less difficult to justify. Regardless of what division is submitting the business case or funding request both the requestor and the approver should have first hand experience of the value of the Intranet as a business tool.

Sound like a big ask? Not possible in your organisation? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts, observations and experiences on the subject.

Monday, April 12, 2010

If a house was dreaming

I have not strayed from Intranet related topics for some time now but this morning I saw this totally cool example of public art and just had to share it.

Check out this stunning and surrealistic work of projected art, turning the facade of the Hamburg Kunsthalle art museum in Hamburg, Germany and turning it into a three-dimensional video canvas. This life-like transformation must be seen to be believed.

Art Director Daniel Rossa and creative-company URBANSCREEN used this work to illustrate the fragility and flexibility of architecture. Within it, the moving graphics seem to effortlessly manipulate the exterior wall of the museum space, making it as malleable and subject to the imagination as a computer rendering program.

"How it would be, if a house was dreaming"

555 KUBIK | facade projection

Friday, March 19, 2010

Is your intranet design working against you?

I was interviewed this week by @jessicascarpati for an Internet based publication called . Jessica works out of Newton, Massachusetts and I am in Sydney, Australia so I am 15 hours ahead of Jessica. I always find it hard to get my head around the fact that when I send an email to the states it is usually going back in time to yesterday.

I enjoyed doing the interview and was also enthusiastic about the topic. With many Intranet analysts exploring new applications and incorporating Web 2.0 into their Intranets, Jessica wanted to remind readers that we still need to get the basic things right if your site is to be successful.

Social networking, wikis and other Web 2.0 tools on intranets are snagging all the attention as enterprises try to breathe new life into their corporate portals. But the bricks and mortar still count. Ignoring intranet design best practices can spell death for even the most application-rich portals.

"All users are different, and we may never come up with a design that is perfect for everyone," Richards said. "[But] making assumptions about user needs and habits is a big mistake. Creating a site design based purely on rules of thumb and assumptions equals failure."

Thanks Jessica for making this such an enjoyable exercise and also for putting together a very nice article.

You can read the complete article here: Intranet design best practices start by tearing down department walls

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Video Snipits from Two IntraTeam 2010 Keynotes

After a little confusion regarding the year my previous posts videos were produced, I am pleased to advise that the following videos are definitely from this years IntraTeam 2010 event. I have only embedded 2 videos this time and they just happen to be from two of my favorite Intranet thought leaders (Jane is my absolute favorite but don't tell James). For anyone not familiar with Jane and James, read my previous post that includes a short bio on both.

Future Intranet for New Ways of Working - Jane McConnell NetJMC

Future Intranet 2015 James Robertson

Thanks to @KurtKragh and the crew at @IntraTeam for putting together the successful 2010 event and for giving those of us who were not able to attend such a rich selection of information from Intrateam 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Video Snipits from Four Intrateam 2009 Keynotes

Here is another example of how the organisers of Intrateam make the conference an interesting and informative event for those of us who were unable to be there in person.

I was under the impression that these videos were from this years event but I am advised by Kurt Kragh Sørensen from Intrateam that these videos were in fact from last years event. Kurt also advised that the videos from Intranteam 2010 are still to come. Something to really look forward to.

Each keynote speakers does a brief 5 minute video interview after their presentation. If you are an Intranet Manager interested in the future of entrerprise Intranets I enthusiastically recommend checking out each of the videos I have embedded below.

I have to admit that I am a little biased toward the featured presenters below having met and known two of them for a few years now and have enjoyed a professional online relationship with the others for some time also. For those who do not know these guys here is a short summary on each.

James Robertson - Managing Director, Step Two Designs
James is a true Intranet Guru. He seems to live and breath Intranet and always seems to have a finger on the pulse of what the future might hold for Intranets and Intranet management. James is also a prolific Blogger and blog reader and his Column Two blog is essential reading for any Intranet Manager. James and Step Two also run the annual Intranet Innovations Awards that I am sure many of you are familiar with.

Jane McConnell - Founder, Netstrategy/JMC
For the past 4 years Jane has produced the Global Intranet Trends Report. This report is compiled from the results of the worldwide Global Intranet Strategies Survey that Jane facilitates annually. I have participated in the last 3 surveys and would highly recommend that all Intranet Managers sign up to take part in the upcoming 2011 survey and you will be rewarded with a participants copy of the report once compiled.

Martin White - Managing Director, Intranet Focus
Martin is the author of The Content Management Handbook. He could also be called a Search Guru with a wealth of knowledge and experience in good, bad and ugly enterprise search implementations and management. Martin is currently working a another book, The Intranet Governance Handbook that is due out in August 2010.

Toby Ward - President & CEO , Prescient Digital
I have only met Toby via Twitter and have found him to be a fabulous source of Intranet Information. His blog, is a valuable source of ideas, thoughts and observations about Intranets and Enterprise 2.0. I hope one day to be able to meet and chat with Toby in person to expand on our current social media facilitated relationship.


James Robertson - Transforming the Intranet into a Business Tool
Managing Director - Step Two Designs
Blog - Column Two
Twitter - @s2d_jamesr

Jane McConnell - Main Conclusions from the Global Intranet Trends Report
Founder - Netstrategy/JMC
Blog - Globally Local-Locally Global
Twitter - @netjmc

Martin White - Why is an Intranet Strategy Important
Managing Director - Intranet Focus
Blog - Intranet Focus Blog
Twitter - @IntranetFocus

Toby Ward - Pros and Cons of the MOSS Platform
President & CEO - Prescient Digital Media
Blog -
Twitter - @Tobyward

Intrateam 2011 is planned to take place in March next year and if this years event is anything to go by it will be well worth any Intranet Managers effort to attend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Intrateam 2010 - Conference day one summary as viewed via Twitter

Intrateam 2010 is an International Conference about Intranet and Enterprise 2.0 currently taking place in Copenhagen. This event is THE place to be if your are interested in the future direction of Intranets and the people who use and manage them. International Intranet thought leaders like James Robertson, Jane McConnell, Michael Sampson, Mark Morrell and Martin White have been wowing delegates with their extensive knowledge and thought provoking presentations on day one. Needless to say I am green with envy at all who have had the opportunity to attend this gathering of Intranet gurus.

Now those of you who regularly use twitter to follow information on Intranets would have no doubt seen tweets from conference attendees in the past. I have never really been a huge fan of this practice. The tweeted comments on presentations usually lack context and seldom provide any value for people on the outside looking in. But that was before I started following the #IE10 comments posted from Intrateam 2010.

Following event proceedings last night from my home in Sydney was just fantastic. The tweets from #IE10 were gems of information. Thought provoking questions, insightful observations and valuable advise were coming thick and fast in less than 140 characters. I am now convinced that provided the person tweeting from the event has the ability to communicate key points and not just a stream of topics, following conference presentations on Twitter can be an entertaining and informative experience.

Here are some of the tweets from 4 of the English sessions on day one.

Future Intranet for New Ways of Working - Jane McConnell, Intranet and Portal Specialist
(Jane presented some of the key results from her Global Intranet Trends 2010 report)

Building the Best Practice Intranet - Andrew Wright, Managing Director, CIBA Solutions and Stephan Schillerwein, infocentric research

How Newsdesk helped Shell save $5 million - by Rossen Roussev, former Shell Enterprise Portal manager
  • Shell saved $15m on a budget that was 10% of that amount.#IE10
  • Shell portal rolled out to 142k people in 142 countries #IE10
  • Few users will personalise - most want content profiled for them #IE10
  • Use words and phrases that help management achieve their business objectives. Rossen Roussev Shell #IE10
  • More important than the (impressive) number of $ saved by shell's intranet was that it was done in a way that management bought into #IE10
  • shell's savings came from overlapping media contracts being stopped #IE10
  • Comms people were creating a lot of newsletters round the world. Replaced by centrally Newsdesk. Rossen Roussev Shell #IE10
  • Contracts rationalization 73 contracts identified USD 17 million a year replaced by internal newsfeed Rossen Roussev Shell #IE10
  • Think about your organisation. Value and perception. Walk and talk. Rossen Roussev Shell #IE10
  • Don't explain to management how great the intranet is. They don't care. It's all about value and perception. Rossen Roussev, Shell#IE10
  • "Get out there, talk to people, do your homework!" Rossen Roussev, Shell #IE10
    (PR - Loved this snipit - sometimes feel like shouting it at people)

Is your Intranet Ready for 2012? - Martin White, Intranet Focus Ltd
  • Try to type "confidential" in your search box on the intranet. Scared? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
    (PR-Tried this morning. Not as bad as I first feared it may be)
  • Abandon hope for those enter here. Is that then welcome message on your intranet? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Information is not seen as a business asset. Why not? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • You can't be an intranet manger for the rest of your life, you'll go insane! Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Security gets blamed for everything. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • The intranet is NOT an IT system The intranet is the only IT-system not having a specific purpose. Challenge? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Be more specific when asking about what employees do? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • The value of your information is the sum of all salaries in the company and you are failing to manage it! Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Collaboration technology gets rolled out without specifying collaboration requirements and goals. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Not many had made the requirements BEFORE installing collaboration tools. Not done with many other things! Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Challenger launch decision. Good book about collaboration according to Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • We share information because we trust each other. Break trust and collaboration breaks. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • What is the career path for intranet managers? (We can't do the one job for the next 20 years) @s2d_jamesr #IE10
  • We focus on the media not the social. A social media guide does not make it social. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • The biggest intranet challenge is where they bump up to ERP. Millions invested in ERP. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • The future intranet has to be independent on location, language, department and technology. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10

I plan on following the #IE10 tweets from day two of this event tonight and am looking forward to another sessions from Jane McConnell, Step Two's James Robertson, Mark Morrell from British Telecom and Collaboration guru Michael Sampson. Does it really get any better than this?
If this event is on again next year I am going to pull out all stops to attend. Just the conversations during breaks would be well worth the price of the airfare from Australia.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Social Media Revolution

Is social media a fad or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution? This video details out social media facts and figures that are hard to ignore. This video is produced by the author of Socialnomics.

I love discovering all these statistics like "If facebook was a country it would have the 4th highest population in the world" and "Ashton Kutcher & Ellen DeGeneres have more Twitter followers that the entire population of Ireland, Norway & Panama".

Great information for those who are trying to convince your organisation about the importance and taking social media channels seriously.