Mobile and social concepts and technologies are redefining knowledge work and transforming our digital work environments. Mobile technologies enable us to get our work done regardless if we are at the office or not. Social technologies allow us to collaborate in new and smarter ways, within and across organizations.
If the Intranet is to continue to have a reason for existence, it has to play a part in this transformation. It has to evolve from being a website for information self-service to becoming a platform that connects people, information and tasks across the enterprise. It is feasible to assume that intranets will evolve, just as the Internet itself, into a number of services that provide relevant capabilities to people in different situations. These services will need to be optimized for specific usage situations and accessible from the device that we find most convenient to use in that situation. Most of these services will be inherently collaborative, leveraging social technologies to make the best possible use of our collective intelligence, so that we can get our work done in smarter ways.
In other words, the Intranet as we know it will seize to exist as it will blend into our digital work environment, a.k.a. our Digital Workplace. (By the way, if you’re interested in the Digital Workplace as a concept, here are a few definitions as well as my own take)
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, the vision of the Digital Workplace can't be realized in a day. You can’t buy it off the shelf. Nor is there a single product or platform that will take you there. The only feasible way to get closer to the vision of the Digital Workplace is to adopt a think big / start small approach and establish a process for continuous service development as well as continuous improvements of ways of working. To avoid getting stuck in technology-centric thinking, you need to apply people-centric and service-oriented thinking and design principles.
This is essence what I talk about in my keynote at the Intranätverk conference in Gothenburg, Sweden on 21st of May. I will share some insights and practical advice on how to establish service-oriented thinking and how to start developing services for the Digital Workplace. If you happen to be in Gothenburg at that time, I hope to see you there!
This post inspired Joachim Stroh to create this great 2-2 matrix and visualization: