The Compelling Business Case for the Next Generation Intranet
It is first time in history that five generations are working simultaneously together in the same workplace. The workforce, on one hand, consists of the rule-following workers that are soon going to hit retirement. On the other hand, there’s the young generation that establishes its own work rules. Larry and Meagan Johnson in their book write, Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters – Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work write, “The workplace consisted of two groups: the old-timers and the know-it-all, young hotshots. The old-timers were the traditionalists, about-to retire, stuck-in-the-past old-schoolers; the youngsters were the big-idea interlopers destined to climb the management ladder.” But today there are other three generations in between these two generations that are just as diverse. This multi-generational workforce is not only diverse, but also contrastingly dynamic.
Today many small and innovative players have entered the market, making the competitive landscape even steeper. Organizations therefore must be responsive to the constantly evolving market conditions, and customer demands. In such a context, companies can compete only if they’ve enabled employees to leverage data and knowledge to make real-time and swift decisions. Thus, it has become imperative that all the five generations connect, communicate and collaborate from anywhere at any time to bring out optimum results and add value to existing outcomes.
THE NEED FOR REAL-TIME DIGITAL COLLABORATION
Technology has progressed in a rapid pace over the years. Each of the generation has a different pace and attitude towards adoption of technology. Not to mention, every generation has its own style of collaborating and getting work done. According to The Aberdeen Next-Generation Communications Study, 39 per cent employees work from home; 31 percent work at client site; 27 percent work while travelling; and 23 percent work from a public site. Therefore, organizations are now seeing a distinctive paradigm shift from the past. Today, employee engagement is taking place more and more outside of the confines of the traditional office space. Organizations cannot afford to ignore this shift and need to be adept with providing the requisite tools to boost employee productivity and efficiency.
Intranet portals are widely gaining recognition for its effectiveness in bringing employees together for interaction and timely access to information. According to Forrester’s Business Technographics Global Software Survey, 2014 that saw the participation of 2,007 software decision-makers at organizations in North America and the UK, 77 percent of the respondents were looking to increase their deployment and use of collaboration technologies in 2015. According to the same (above mentioned) report by Aberdeen Group, companies that have prioritized collaboration as a top business goal have seen substantial improvement in their business performance vis-à-vis those that didn’t prioritize the same.
THE NEXT GENERATION INTRANET
It is not just today that the necessity and impact for collaboration suddenly gained recognition. What has changed however is the idea behind the concept of collaboration. While in the past, collaboration was seen only as a tool that helps employees work towards a shared business goal. However, today collaboration goes beyond just that; it enables fusion of people, knowledge, information, processes, and technology. Now with the emergence of new forms of collaboration and the dynamic workforce, usability has emerged as a key challenge. According to Business Technographics Global Software Survey, 2014 by Forrester Research, 34 percent of the respondents say that collaboration tools are too difficult to use. One of the main factors to point here is that the user base represents a broad age group and the response towards technology for different group is diverse in nature. This leads to hindrance in the process of a timely response.
Therefore, the next generation intranet will go beyond a communication and collaboration platform. It will cater to all the ever-changing business environment and different generations that are working together within the same virtual and physical space. Some of the key benefits that make for a compelling case for next generation intranet are:
- Improves productivity: Intranet portals allow for speeded access to information and knowledge. The work space gets extended beyond office and enables employees to work from public and/remote sites as well. This is crucial for the current generational workforce that works even virtually and digitally.
- Increases efficiency: The next generation intranet will replace manual processes with process automation. This will reduce the time consumed by not just users but also IT support which usually consumes a great deal of time.
- Advances Return on Investment (ROI): Intranet mortals make for resourceful storage of previously used data. As a result, stored information/data from the past can be easily accessed, reducing the time and cost involved in establishing or fresh data from scratch. Further, Intranets facilitate better business decisions by providing tools to facilitate interactive, innovative, collaborative work environments across organizational teams.
- Establishes engaging corporate culture: Intranet portals can be a great platform where organizational vision can be established by consistent and personalized updates. Such portals also act as engagement platforms that can be used for communication across organization and at all levels. As a result, innovation gets fostered through participation and expression of opinions by all in the organization.
- Improves customer experience: Speed time to service customer inquiries by quick access to information makes it possible to execute timely processes. This becomes highly effective when intranet portals are mobile enabled as it helps employees access information while with customers.
Intranets make for ideal collaboration platform that not only is used for interaction to reach a certain business objective, but also to enable today’s dynamic, dispersed, mobile and virtual workforce. The next generation intranet will not only improve productivity, but will also help improve customer experience. Intranet therefore is pivotal point that connects people, information, organizations’ existing knowledge and technology with customer experience and overall business goals. Experience a next generation Intranet, today!
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