The New Social Intranet

The social intranet is nothing new, but advances in social computing, and a supporting cultural shift, has advanced the social intranet beyond the tired suspicion of being merely a fad.

Social intranets, and collaboration tools (whatever the label), were never a fad, and are no more fading or disappearing than email or the ‘traditional’ intranet. Although a strong majority of intranets feature some form of social or collaboration tool (over 80%), most intranets are not truly social.

True social intranets feature multiple tools that support most or all content consumption and are integrated into the main platform and intranet home page. These truly social intranets feature user commenting, sharing and liking features on all content such as news, announcements, wikis, etc. (content exceptions would include policies, forms, and key HR messaging). True social intranets feature social employee profiles with multiple collaboration tools for ‘networking’ and sharing content and knowledge.

The newest, and hottest tools for the intranet are social ones. Tools such as Slack, Huddle, Asana, Facebook Workplace and Microsoft Teams. Though it’s not an intranet in a box, and not even an enterprise social network (ESN), Slack is a heavyweight instant messaging and collaboration platform, akin to Skype, used in tandem with Yammer. It’s not a standalone ESN, but its far better than the underwhelming Skype. HipChat is seen as a comparable competitor, but neither serve traditional business communications and project management requirements.  More robust tools, such as Asana, which is a robust, socialized project management tool, and Microsoft Teams are far more project oriented and suitable for typical business use cases.

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