Intranet Development 2015 – Best Practices and Emerging Trends
The year 2015 till now has seen intranet development and uses evolve in many ways. With little more than two months to go for the year end, it makes sense to take a look at the emerging trends in design, development, features for enhanced user friendliness and budgeting of intranet software products across the world.
While there are different parameters to assess the utility of an intranet platform, it makes great business sense to categorize the different aspects as under: customization of content, user uptake and participation, search filters, networking effects and design.
CUSTOMIZATION OF CONTENT
The biggest trend that business enterprises across the world have embraced is a greater degree of customization of content. Customization of content has been reflected in the variety of content that companies across the world are creating, uploading and sharing on intranet networks. A very significant aspect of the customization of content has been based on making company performance data available for employees to see even as they go through the motions of their daily office chores.
Many public limited companies have initiated the practice of providing real time information on the share price of the company and consequently the market capitalization of the business to enable employees assess the pulse rate of the business enterprise from a purely financial perspective. This actually makes employees understand how much value the company is creating at the market place for investors and thus manoeuvre their business decisions accordingly.
Yet another creative step taken by companies for the purpose of boosting organizational learning is the uploading of more video content. The usage of video content on subject matters like the latest message from the desk of the CEO, product launch, advertisements or even on purely technical nuances of work have caught the imagination of intranet using firms across the globe.
USER UPTAKE AND PARTICIPATION
A report published by the Nielsen Norman Group suggests that the average employee headcount of companies using intranet has increased over the last year. The report posits that the median size of top intranet user organization across the globe was 14, 250. While this data substantiates the claims of intranet being a meaningful business automation tool, there is a flipside to the news.
The year’s average team size for intranet users is up to 19 this year from 16 in the last year. Yet the team size relative to the total employee headcount has only increased marginally leaving much to be desired in terms of on-boarding employees to the intranet network. The slow on-boarding of employees to the intranet networks of companies is a clear indicator of the necessity to push efforts towards creating participatory work cultures in companies and thus removing the digital divide that exists.
This year search features have found a special place of mention in different companies that use intranet products. In fact the year 2015 has been about making document search more user friendly on the intranet. Companies that use and develop intranet software have directed efforts towards streamlining search of documents and data based on descriptive tags, usage of Hoover effects to refine search results and faceted search.
Hoover effects give users significant context specific information even before they click on the search option as they move their cursor on different options. Yet another technological innovation being contemplated by intranet developers is faceted search. Although the terms facet and filter are interchangeably used in the context of search in business, the two functions are distinct despite some overlapping.
Faceted search offers precise and refined search results to users by making use of multiple filters for different aspects of the object content being searched. Consequently search results are more context-specific and enable users to search for more relevant information in a lesser span of time.
The next big trend observed this year in intranet software being used by business corporations globally is the integration of social media with intranet. While the development and usage of social intranet frameworks is complex, it is only modest to assert that the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
For one, it enables companies to stimulate brainstorming sessions and identify influencers and opinion leaders who are instrumental in promoting organizational learning and knowledge management maturity levels within the organization.
Secondly, it enables a company to institutionalize an innovation and thus embed into the system of the company by harnessing a pruned and targeted avatar of viral marketing within the community of employees.
Thirdly the use of social intranet allows users to publish professional content easily and network with colleagues to exchange views on the same. This has the effect of a stronger and faster organizational learning.
Finally the year 2015 has seen intranet software development companies and users focus on design. The year has seen a sharp rise in demand for responsive design for intranet platforms with extended features for enhanced user friendliness across the domains of devices and domains.
Yet another upcoming trend observed is flat design. Companies have been moving towards flat design aesthetics for their intranet frameworks by shedding away the traditional design concepts. This facilitates a universal interface that eases collaboration, sharing, creation of forms for workflow and task management. In fact flat design aesthetics have been found to be more interactive and have better touch input on mobile devices.
INTRANET DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT IN BUSINESS
In addition to all the fascinating development trends there is yet another trend that accurately reverberates the importance of time to market. Intranet vendors across the globe have tried to reduce the time to market with a faster cycle time of development to deployment to put their clients’ intranet wish list on the fast track. A faster time to market approach has seen the surge of agile development methodology in the context of intranet development and installation.
With so much happening in the business automation vertical, there are clear indicators of future lines of innovation in the intranet space being pegged to the above mentioned trends and best practices. At Precurio we not only develop an intranet system, but offer unique ways of leveraging the very best and latest in technology to put business on the fast track of growth. Many clients have already benefited from our intranet expertise and experience. Have you tried Precurio?
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