2020 Intranet Trends

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Ready for 2020? What will the next big intranet trend be? Read below as we discuss our predictions for the coming year, and the future of the digital workplace.

In the last 15 years, we have seen a LOT of changes relating to intranets–from design trends, to navigation trends, to accessibility trends.  We’ve also seen intranet trends recirculate (see below: knowledge management). 

Sometimes we even forget how far intranets have evolved, until of course we uncover one of our early blog posts–like this one from 2008

Fortunately our vast experience has helped us not only stay current, but also to predict future intranet trends. Below are our predictions for intranet trends in 2020. 

Internal communications

The challenge to keep employees informed and up to date continues to increase. With more ‘digital noise’ than ever, it will be critical to find ways to keep employees informed and educated about corporate news–no matter which device they are on, or which continent they are in. 

With so many digital tools in our workplace, the intranet has emerged as a center for communications, integrating with other platforms and easily broadcasting information out. 

With an increased focus on design and user-experience, expect to see intranets that provide content that is easy to read and digest. Intranets will also become more intelligent in the content they offer up to employees. Just like Google provides us content based on search preferences, smarter subscriptions on our intranet will help deliver content based off relevant interests and topics. The result is an informed workforce with measurable results.

Knowledge management

Knowledge management has once again emerged as an intranet trend—and with good reason. With the mass exodus of baby boomers (also known as the silver tsunami), it’s more important than ever before that organizations capture and retain their employee knowledge.  

As a knowledge management platform, an intranet aids employees in accessing information to address customer support concerns, resolve problems, and uncovering additional insight. All of this results in improved customer satisfaction, increased profits, and stronger employee morale. Intranets also allow employees to share information internally by facilitating conversation rather than a one-way communication. This level of open communication prompts discussion and allows subject matter experts to easily share their expertise and insights. 

Effective knowledge management not only keeps your organization running smoothly, but it also leads to superior service, increased customer loyalty, and reduced employee turnover–all which can provide organizations a unique competitive advantage.  

Digital employee experience

There is a renewed focus on user experience–particularly the Digital Employee Experience (DEX). 

DEX encompasses how employees work, what tools and technology they use, and the corporate culture they exist within. It’s all about having digital systems and platforms that employees can easily access, but more importantly, technology employees will want to access. 

DEX is important because when we infringe technology, like an intranet, on employees without considering their experience, employees are left frustrated, disengaged, and unproductive. In other words, the stronger the DEX, the higher the intranet adoption. 

The focus on DEX has led many intranet providers to devote more attention to UI (User Interface), and continuously tweaking to find out what works and what doesn’t. This focus has subsequently also led to less outsourcing, as top intranet organizations need to stay agile in their development.   

Risk reduction

The fear of a data breach is an enormous concern for many organizations; and rightfully so. One study revealed that you’re more likely to experience a data breach of at least 10,000 records than you are to catch the flu this winter. 

Fortunately intranets already help reduce the risk of a data breach because they lessen the need for a PDF download (since the information can be hosted on an actual page). But of course, that doesn’t mean intranets provide 100% security. 

As security threats continue to loom, expect many intranet vendors to offer ISO 27001 standards as a minimum. Other security criteria may include data encryption, vulnerability scanning and intrusion detection, as well as penetration testing.  

Risk management extends to other areas too, and more customers will be seeking intranet providers with stability, and experience working in certain sectors, or with organizations of a specific size. Further scrutiny will focus on release updates, and the frequency of them, as well as reputable support. 

At the end of the day, choosing an intranet vendor who can’t demonstrate innovation and adaptability poses unnecessary risk. 

 

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December 10, 2019

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