Intranet 2.0 is a new term coined recently to describe the Intranet as an Enterprise 2.0 tool. On the one hand we still have a lot of first generation intranets that are not much more than electronic billboards. Many of them are run by one guy in IT, which means you need approval just to update a punctuation mark. As a result, the intranet is rarely used except for an occasional look at the expense report policy.
I developed the “ThoughtBoard” above to highlight what I see as the key differences between Intranet 1.0 and Intranet 2.0. From what I’ve seen, most Intranets were developed as an afterthought and not supplemental to the corporate strategy. Most IT departments are focused on supporting the needs of the Enterprise and not developing strategy for it. Their work is mostly tactical so they focus on that. Tactics are easy to develop, because they say, “I’m going to post this.” If they post it, they are seen to be successful.
Intranet strategy is completely different and requires participation from all of the division heads. Ostensibly the needs analysis is similar to implementing an ERP system because we all want different things. In reality, Intranet 2.0 vendors are building tools that adapt to the changing needs of the Enterprise. For instance using MindTouch, you can swap out project templates for polling templates on the same page. Don’t like your project template, then change it on the fly (with the proper permissions of course). Sharepoint 2010 appears to be headed the same direction, but it’s not available as of the date of this writing.
Building an Intranet 2.0 asset so that the Enterprise can become more competitive over time is a strategy. Sticking with an electronic bulletin board that serves as your Intranet is not facilitating the growth of your corporation. It’s time IT becomes more strategic by understanding how their corporations need to function in order to operate more efficiently.
In my experience, IT is backlogged to the point of firefighting and does not have the political capital to develop enterprise operational strategy. As a result, everyone complains about the IT department as a bottleneck and not providing tools that enable the creativity and knowledge creation of the enterprise.
The next time you find yourself wondering why your Intranet is not providing any value because it hasn’t been updated in 6 months, you’ll understand why. Make a change and explore the new tools that are making your competitors better at what they do. Don’t get left behind.
(Cross-posted @ Seek Omega)