As last year, I attended (most of) this years Digital Workplace 24 hours long webinars. Here are a couple of notes…
For those of you who don’t know what this is about, The Digital Workplace 24 (#DW24) is an on-line event for companies’ intranet managers, designers and other interested parties where in the form of hourly web sessions companies intranets are showcased and talks are held around applications and methodologies around the intranet topic.
For people like me, managing, planning and designing a company intranet this is a very interesting event, because it is a chance to have a look in the kitchen of companies that have some very innovative and well adopted among the staff.
This year, the line-up was quite impressive, with intranets from IKEA, Virgin Media, Barclay’s and Coca-Cola among many others.
This year, there was a clear focus on the “The Social Intranet” Something that was already quite present last year, but now it has come out of the buzzword phase and most of the intranets that where showcased had some very heavy social elements.
The new Buzzword this year is gamification. A few of the Intranets already had some elements of gamification implemented, others where starting to. Personally I find this an interesting topic, as Gamification (is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems source: Wikipedia) used in intranets is directly linked to adoption.
An example of Gamification that stood out was around the use of Badges (a badge for reaching an X amount of comments, Completing your profile, …) This very much in the same way a site like Foursquare.
Another thing that stood out was the openness of a few intranets. Most companies had no (or hardly any) content filtering wile having an outfacing intranet. This is a daring step for a company to take as you can not predict how your employees behave, but the trust shown in the employee this way is a very motivational factor and in most cases works as a commercial as this steers the employees in giving positive feedback of their jobs and employer.
I am surprised with the speed companies are adopting these things. Mainly because working for a large company on their intranet, I am suffering the reluctance to moving forward on a daily basis. This is also budget related. The amount of money spent on licencing etc. is quite large and a lot of large companies are not having the best economic panorama to spend enormous amounts on a “Social version of the companies main information management tool”.
This brings me to the next point. It was not mentioned, but I did see a few non-SharePoint based intranets. I believe this to be due to the licencing and operational costs of the later Microsoft SharePoint versions and also because there are some quite complete and well working competitors on the market now. Jive, Cisco, SAP and IBM are introducing some really interesting players to the game. I am looking forward how this develops as this will force the Microsoft being the current market leader to move a bit faster and respond to trends like gamification faster that it used to do.
If you also joined the #ib24 or have a question around any of the things mentioned here, feel free to comment below. I have to admit I dozed off during a couple of sessions but did watch most of it so I might have to refer to the collection of recorded videos the Digital Workplace Group posted here: http://www.digitalworkplacegroup.com/digital-workplace-24/digital-workplace-24-recordings/