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Will these 5 pain points kill the intranet?

Corporate intranets tend to be static and content-led, and it’s killing their value.

The truth is, intranets rarely are evolved enough to match the new digital landscape in which most of us work. That’s one of the many reasons they are not meeting the expectations of everyday users.

While intranets have been stagnating, the rest of the technology space has been revolutionizing. As users, we’ve grown accustomed to user-friendly GUIs like the Apple interfaces. We expect product suggestions when we log onto sites like Amazon.  We participate in social media. And much of our lives revolve around our mobile devices and the apps that keep us connected no matter where we are.

So while our tech world view has been evolving, it’s reasonable that we expect more from our corporate intranets. We want intranets that deliver better, faster and more relevant user experiences that rival what we experience in the consumer world. But it’s not happening.

For IT, the changes are coming fast and furiously. Users want mobility, and they want access to devices and apps that can land corporate data in many different repositories in the cloud.

Many companies have responded well to the challenges. Some leading-edge intranets have blurred into digital workplaces which take in applications, collaboration, social channels, unified communications, document management systems and even external-facing tools. However, it is rare to find a truly immersive intranet where everything feels part of one true connected digital environment.

Long-Term Pain Points for Intranets

VirtualWorks has identified five key long-term “pain points” for IT teams managing many intranets. By adding easy knowledge access tools to the intranet, however, all of these issues can be solved.

Poor search and findability

  • Employees find it time-consuming or even impossible to navigate to the information on the intranet they need to do their jobs effectively. Search engines many be poor and limited in scope, the intranet navigation not intuitive and content not optimally configured for search.
    • An easy knowledge access solution can increase the scope of the intranet search to disparate systems and formats giving users the ability to find the content they need or that previously was essentially hidden to them. This search solution saves time and increases employee productivity, while opening up critical content for viewing by all who need it, in the correct context. The result: better and faster decision making.

Poor and fragmented user experience

  • The intranet’s design offers a poor user experience. Often, it is inconsistent in terms of branding and interfaces. The complexity of the digital ecosystem of different applications means the experience is anything but seamless.
    • Easy knowledge access with an enterprise search solution helps by allowing all content to be accessed from the intranet, avoiding having to switch between different systems. The result: the corporate intranet can be the center of the employee’s digital workplace, delivering a more coherent and engaging user experience within one environment.

Low user adoption and satisfaction

  • Because it provides little value, users don’t visit the intranet and it has few advocates.
    • An enterprise search solution reduces employees’ frustrations about not being able to find information and also delivers a highly visible and obvious intranet benefit to users. The result: increased adoption of the intranet and clear value for users.

Perceived lack of value by senior management

  • The intranet’s problems mean senior management can’t see its value, particularly if they hear complaints about it from users.
    • An enterprise search solution allows the intranet teams to deliver a highly visible and obvious intranet benefit at low cost, with a variety of additional organizational-level benefits. The result: improvements that demonstrate new capabilities and ROI will make senior stakeholders take notice.

Improvements are difficult to make

  • The intranet is stuck in a rut with too many roadblocks and barriers to drive through improvements
    • Making improvements is easy with enterprise search, so IT can bypass the previous financial, technology and cultural roadblocks. The result: a corporate intranet that finally delivers on its promise.

For more details on eliminating these pain points with easy knowledge access using an enterprise search solution, contact us.