The Social Intranet Becomes Reality

By Toby Ward – Social media tools on the corporate intranet (intranet 2.0) became mainstream nearly two years ago.

Social media tools on the corporate intranet (intranet 2.0) became mainstream nearly two years ago.  Preliminary results from The Social Intranet Survey (open now, prepared by Prescient Digital Media and sponsored by IABC) show that about two-thirds of organizations have at least one social media tool on their intranet. Shockingly, there are some pundits that still think social media is still a fad. In fact, they couldn’t be more wrong.

But wait, the social intranet phenomena is bigger than you think: of those that have social media on their intranet, 59% claim to have a “social intranet” (preliminary data, 400 respondents, The Social Intranet Survey).

The social intranet is loosely defined as:

“An intranet that features multiple social media tools for most or all employees to use as collaboration vehicles for sharing knowledge with other employees. A social intranet may feature blogs, wikis, discussion forums, social networking, or a combination of these or any other social media tool with at least some or limited exposure on the main intranet or portal home page.”

Social intranet technology

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft SharePoint is driving the social intranet. In fact, 56% of organizations with intranet 2.0 use SharePoint. The next closest, most prevalent intranet 2.0 technologies are Facebook (used as a private ‘intranet’ group), WordPress, and Blogger. In fact, there are no commercial software vendors that have double digit market penetration for enterprise social software. The closest, commercial competitor to SharePoint is Lotus Connections (IBM), with a mere 6% of the respondents market.

But there are many credible social intranet solutions to SharePoint. Amidst the dog-eat-dog world of the intranet platform market, a new contender is developing into a serious alternative to bigger, more established solutions: the social intranet platform.

The solutions powering social intranets are maturing and becoming increasingly powerful and robust, offering organizations unprecedented levels of interactivity and collaboration.

Organizations’ strong demand for intranet 2.0 tools, coupled with their growing awareness of the platform’s capabilities, means social software vendors are gaining significant foothold in the intranet platform market.

But with this newfound power in the industry comes responsibility. Social software vendors are constantly being challenged to meet the demands of diverse, rapidly-growing companies with high expectations for their intranet. Innovation is critical to success.

Get a free copy of The Social Intranet White Paper 

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