Intranet 2.0 on the rise, but barely

The adoption of Intranet 2.0 (Web 2.0) tools in the past two years has barely grown while organizations and intranet managers focus on more pressing priorities.

Two years ago, as Web 2.0 became all the rage, I reported on a CIO study found that very few organizations had implemented Web 2.0 tools (see CIOs don’t respect social media). The study found:

  • Only 18% had implemented blogs (though another 41% were testing or evaluating)
  • Only 18% had implemented RSS (though another 45% were testing or evaluating)
  • Only 13% had implemented wikis (though another 40% were testing or evaluating)

So given the rage, and all the testing and evaluating undertaken by so many companies, you’d think that two years later Web 2.0 would be most dominant in corporate culture. Especially since Web 2.0 / Intranet 2.0 is incredibly cheap and quick to implement; not to mention, everyone wants it…

Alas, very little has changed in two years. Communicators and IT managers alike are not sold, if not confounded by Intranet 2.0. Jane McConnell’s Global Intranet Trends Report reveals that very few organizations have implemented or optimized Intranet 2.0 tools for general use in most organizations:

  • Only 6% have blogs in general use (another 23% have them implemented it in some form) while 45% are still in test mode.
  • Only 7% have implemented commenting tools (e.g. post a comment to a story on the intranet) in general use (another 35% have implemented it in some form).

Arguably there has been a little growth in adoption – only the smallest amount – but it by no means correlates with the attention and hype garnered by Web 2.0 / Intranet 2.0. Why?

The chief reason is that most organizations have bigger priorities – bigger fish to fry. As it relates to the intranet, these priorities include:

  • Content
  • Ownership & governance
  • Intranet awareness and use
  • Search engine effectiveness
  • Usability and navigation

According to the Global Intranet Trends Report, 44% of respondents say the intranet is not seen as a priority and is a “serious obstacle”. Supporting the conclusion, 40% of respondents say the lack of senior management ownership (stewardship or championing) of the intranet is a serious obstacle.

As I’ve said many times before, and is well represented in my Nexus of Intranet Success model, the single greatest and most critical success factor is senior management’s involvement in the intranet. When senior management support is weak or absent, the intranet will fall well short of its potential, if not falter.

Therefore, as supported in the findings cited here and in most of these instances, Intranet 2.0 will obviously take a back seat and will remain a pipe dream. If Web 2.0 tools are to become common place on the corporate intranet (and open to general use by most if not all employees), intranet managers will have to continue to address bigger priorities first, including the issue of ownership and the involvement of senior management.


The Global Intranet Trends Report is a very worthwhile report and should be used as a frequent reference for building your intranet business case. You can purchase it for $525 – or even better, purchase the enhanced The Global Intranet Analysis Report at $1175.


Toby Ward is the President and Founder of Prescient Digital Media. Contact us directly for more information on how to transform your intranet into a high-value employee & business system or download our free white paper Finding ROI: Measuring Intranet Investments



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Related reading:

Enterprise Intranet Predictions for 2008 

Enterprise 2.0 vs. Intranet 2.0

Intranet 2.0

Blogging the intranet

Should you blog the intranet?

Wiki the intranet

Intranet Report podcast

Social bookmarking the intranet

Case studies:

Podcasting the intranet at IBM

Podcasting @ IBM

Investment banker uses wiki for employee collaboration

Case study: PNM Resources CEO blog

IBM leads corporate blogging pack

Intranet case study: Intrawest Placemaking

The digital workplace (Verizon intranet case study)

The good and bad Of Web 2.0 tools (P&G case study)