How to Replace Your Obsolete Intranet with an Enterprise Social Network?

In a separate post we saw some of the major differences between Enterprise Social Networks and Intranets. One is a low-cost agile tool based in the Cloud that employees enjoy and find easy to use. The other is a bulky and complex product with high installation, training and maintenance costs that suffers from extremely low levels of engagement. One inspires collaboration, innovation, and empowers employees through an open and dynamic communication platform. The other is a rigid, one-way communication tool that doesn’t allow companies to unlock value from social connections between their employees.

Given these realities, does this mean that ESNs will do away with Intranets forever?

The answer to this question depends on the time frame.

In the near future Enterprise Social Networks can coexist with their less social cousin. The coexistence of ESNs with Intranets can be an effective way for companies currently using Intranets to gradually transition to the newer and more efficient technology without instantly and drastically having to migrate all their documents and analytics currently being stored in their Intranet.

One potential solution for using both in parallel is for the intranet to continue to be the place where the majority of corporate documents are stored, while the ESN fills the social void.

The Enterprise Social Network will be the place where work happens, where employees brainstorm ideas and collaborate on projects in real time.

ESNs can further facilitate this parallel use by providing direct links on the ESN interface to the more important sites and tools within the Intranet.

So, the coexistence between ESNs and intranets can be an effective short-term goal to start embracing the benefits of a social collaboration platform without some of the headaches of a full-scale migration. However, the fundamental difference in ease of use, adaptability and transparency between the two platforms will eventually signal the end for one.

In today’s constantly changing world, businesses that fail to focus on Social and use the collective intelligence and experience of the entire company will fall behind their more progressive peers. Intranets do not give employees a voice; ESNs do. Creativity, collaboration, and innovation are the goals of modern enterprises, and there is little doubt as to which tool is more conducive to these purposes.

As summed up in a recent CMS Wire article:

“It’s not that intranets aren’t useful; it’s just that they’re obsolete. They are like Windows XP — lots of people still use them, they can do a lot of useful things, but better technology has supplanted it.

In this case, the intranet is heading toward extinction because of enterprise social networks and other social collaboration software.”

Get ahead of the curve. Make the switch now.

Recommended Posts