Intranet 2.0: The investment vs satisfaction corollary

Like anything, you get what you pay for. However, that doesn't mean a social media or Intranet 2.0 solution can't be an inexpensive solution, but it does require proper planning & governance, and usually some customization.

According to the results of the Intranet 2.0 Global Survey (561 organizations of all sizes from across the planet), 46% of those with 2.0 tools have spent nothing or very little on the solution:

  • 46% have spent $10,000 or less
  • 35% have spent between $10,000 and $100,000; 19% have spent $100,000 or more

It should probably come as no surprise then that satisfaction levels with 2.0 tools is also quite low:

  • Satisfaction rates with executives is dangerously poor: 38% of executives rate the 2.0 tools as poor or very poor; a lowly 23% rate them as good or very good
  • Employee satisfaction is almost as poor: 35% of organizations say employee satisfaction with the 2.0 tools is poor or very poor; only 27% rate the tools as good or very good
  • Only 29% of organizations rate the tool functionality as good or very good; 24% rate them as poor or very poor

In short, organizations are spending very little on their 2.0 initiatives, and the satisfaction levels are correspondingly low. Investment doesn't necessarily deliver satisfaction, but a look into the technologies used reveals some further insight. The vast majority of organizations with 2.0 tools use free, open source solutions or those bundled with a platform solution like SharePoint:

  • 48% of organizations use SharePoint
  • 20% of organizations use Facebook
  • 17% of organizations use MediaWiki
  • 16% of organizations use WordPress

There isn't a single, dedicated 2.0 licensed solution used by more than 13% of organizations. The vast majority use free, open source with the exception of SharePoint which sports 2.0 tools that leave very little to be desired (although the social media components in SharePoint 2010 are supposed to be spectacular, and represent a heavy portion of the investment in the SharePoint upgrade).

Two lessons are worth noting:

1 - Vanilla solutions will deliver vanilla results (without customization tailored to the target audience.

2 - Change management is tantamount to success. These tools require promotion, education, and communications. If you build it they will not come necessarily, employees need to be instructed accordingly.

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About the Intranet 2.0 Survey

561 organizations took the survey:

  • 36% come from the U.S; 24% from Europe; 11% from Canada; 11% from Australia / New Zealand; 10% from UK
  • 61% have more than 1,000 employees; 32% have 6,000 or more employees; 39% have less than 1000 employees
  • 53% of organizations have had an intranet for 7 or more years; 17% of organizations have had an intranet for 2 years or less
  • 13% of the organizations are government; 13% from technology; 12% from financial services; 6% from healthcare
  • The survey was led by Toby Ward, President, Prescient Digital Media

About Prescient Digital Media

Prescient Digital Media is a group of senior intranet and Internet consultants that provide strategic Internet and intranet consulting, planning and communications services to organizations of all sizes. Our clients include: Amgen, Covidien, CBC, CIBC, HSBC, Liberty Mutual, Manulife Financial, Mastercard, Nintendo, Pepsi, RBC Financial Group, TD, and more than 100 others.  Prescient’s focus includes the assessment, planning, technology selection, content and launch of intranets, websites, and web-based tools. For more information please contact Prescient Digital Media through the website at or phone 416.926.8800.

Additional reading

Intranet articles & case studies –
Follow us on Twitter –
Join the Intranet Global Forum on Facebook –
View our presentations on intranets on our SlideShare channel –
Watch Toby discussing the future of intranets –