Traditional intranets are no longer meeting the needs of the digital workplace or the digital workforce, but modernizing them is a complex undertaking, especially with more than 100 packaged intranet solutions offering to solve various modernization challenges. Gartner’s recent Market Guide helps readers understand this market and what to look for in this landscape. SocialChorus is proud to be recognized as a representative vendor in the Gartner Market Guide for Intranet Packaged Solutions.
Why organizations are turning to modern intranet solutions
The Gartner Market Guide lists a number of reasons that enterprises are pivoting from the traditional intranet to more modern options. The first item on the list sums up much of the shift: “Dissatisfaction with traditional intranets that aren’t meeting corporate goals, aren’t providing a positive employee experience, and aren’t providing enterprises with the agility and flexibility needed for digital transformation.”
This aligns with the challenges that we at SocialChorus have worked to solve for our customers. We’ve found that poor intranet experiences can translate to reduced employee productivity, and that in turn can hinder everything from internal initiatives to achieving business objectives.
The Gartner report also mentions a number of other reasons organizations are making this change. They include the need to support multiple types of workers, different ways of working, corporate technologies and BYO applications, channels, devices, and models of deployment and consumption. That’s quite a lengthy list—so why are traditional intranets not ticking these boxes? The answer lies in the way they’re designed.
Traditional intranets don’t work for today’s workforce
Intranets that have grown out of on-premises solutions are meant to act as a singular “hub” or internal destination site, i.e. a central location where employees can go to get the information, tools and resources they need for work. Unfortunately, the very idea of a central hub was designed for the desk worker of a decade or more ago, not the hybrid, frontline-reliant workforce of the post-COVID era.
Traditional intranets pose several barriers to today’s access-from-anywhere working style. Requiring a company email address for login creates a blocker for essential frontline employees who may not have one, while VPN and web browser requirements can act as additional barriers. Further hurdles are created by the UX and UI of many traditional intranets, which have not kept up with the intuitive designs of most consumer-facing applications. This can cause the utility of the destination site to be buried or inaccessible even for wired desk workers, making a modern intranet much more practical for them as well.
What features to look for in a modern intranet solution
According to Gartner, “Intranet packaged solutions have become an integral part of many modern intranets.” The publication further reveals that while many of these solutions look alike on the surface, a deeper dive uncovers multiple areas of differentiation. A few of the key areas mentioned include:
- Web Publishing
- Application Integration
- Employee Communications
- Mobile Support
How SocialChorus modernizes the intranet and beyond
At SocialChorus, we believe that a traditional intranet simply can’t address the core areas mentioned above, meaning that a modern intranet is now a must for complex enterprises. That’s why we built our FirstUp platform for the omnichannel needs of the modern digital workplace. FirstUp creates a digital employee experience that truly works for every worker by delivering personalized content, resources and systems access to each employee’s preferred endpoint.
Take a look at how the digital employee experience powered by our FirstUp platform stacks up to the traditional intranet:
Traditional intranet vs digital employee experience platform – a side-by-side comparison
FirstUp also delivers robust capabilities in each of the first four differentiation areas mentioned in the Gartner report.
- Web Publishing – Publishers can target content dynamically and push it to the web and all other endpoints—both within and outside of Microsoft 365.
- Application Integration – FirstUp directly integrates the core systems employees use every day, like ADP and ServiceNow, for a seamless end-user experience.
- Employee Communications – ClearBox Consulting named us a recommended Employee App Choice and gave us a perfect score in the Company Communications category.
- Mobile Support – Built with the needs of every worker in mind, our mobile app personalizes content and systems access based on end-user preferences.
2020 has been a year of digital transformation at lightning speed, and it’s clear that traditional intranets no longer align with that changed landscape. However, the complexities of modernizing the intranet will call for expert guidance.
Download the full Gartner Market Guide to learn more about modern intranet solutions and the state of the industry, or contact us if you’re ready to take the next step. We’ve already helped companies including Amazon, AT&T, Owens Corning and Providence Health provide a more modern intranet and digital experience for all of their employees.
Gartner, Market Guide for Intranet Packaged Solutions, by Gene Phifer, 6 October 2020
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