Most organisations we have recently worked with are grappling with the same challenge: having lost faith in the company’s monolithic intranet or extranet, employees have been creating and maintaining small, unauthorised communities on external social channels, mainly Facebook, LinkedIn Groups or Twitter. Organisations tend to respond in one of three ways: some throw up a fight, caution the perpetrators and even ban all social media use across the organisation; others turn a blind eye only to see such illicit activity gathering pace; and finally, the few left see this as an opportunity for transformation and embrace change putting their intranet or extranet at its core.
We have found that when it comes to intranets and extranets an important factor that determines a company’s strategy is the questions asked during the planning phase: if, for example, the main question is “what do we want in our intranet” companies find themselves discussing platforms, technologies, modules, webparts or departmental requests; on the other hand, companies brave enough to ask themselves “what kind of company do we want to be” discover that their intranet is only a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Before designing and building an intranet or extranet, our job (or even duty) as a experienced supplier it to use our analytical process to help the organisation fist ask the right questions and then find the right answers.
Below is a list of intranets and extranets we have created belonging to a number of diverse organisations that have chosen equally diverse paths for creating them:
Global extranet for London Business School
Global channel partner portal for Xerox
Social intranet tool for MSCI
Intranet for Bibby Financial Services
Intranet for DS Smith
Intranet for International Power
Global extranet for Baker Tilly International