The King is dead. Long live the King!

In a monarchy when the king dies or citizens revolt, the people decry “The king is dead, long live the king!” to mark a change in the times.

A change in the times is exactly what we are experiencing. Many organizations use an intranet to communicate with their employees. An intranet is a secure space for an organization’s people to share files, communicate (i.e. company news,promotions, events and newsgroups) and engage in conversations. If you have worked in a corporate environment over the last 15years you've likely experienced an intranet in one form or another.

But this old régime had some issues. Many intranets were ugly and difficult to use; Due to this they provided limited value. Their biggest downfall was the lack of management support. Using an intranet has a learning curve and provides a poor user experience making ROI hard to see from the perspective of management. So they don’t actively support its use and many of these intranets languish.

"In the mind of management the intranet is a cost to be minimized. To have management see the intranet as an asset to be maximized we need to convince management that the intranet is crucial to the work of the organization." Gerry McGovern in “Why your intranet is not strategic”

E-mail became the complimentary communications medium for many intranets. It became the way people shared information by creating a kind of conversation thread. Of course, e-mail has its own problems. Many studies have shown that the sheer number of emails sent reduces productivity. Many managers report having several hours of email each day to respond to. Email led to information overload and full inboxes and quickly became a not so beloved king.

The king is dead, long live the king. The intranet and email are now on their deathbed and the prince, their successor, is the enterprise social network. Social networks are gaining massive popularity connecting friends, family and colleagues and their adoption in the enterprise, when executed properly, is fast.

As you analyze the ways in which people use social media in their personal life, it’s easy to see how it can be used within an organization to communicate, share, learn, develop and store employee knowledge.

Its ease of use and short learning curve translate into management support as they see the ROI. Is there an enterprise social network in your organizations future? Having one designed for you is more affordable than you think.