Intranet providers are paying close attention to emerging trends and how they align with the ways people want to use technology at work. With so many businesses relying on their Intranet for efficient communication, collaboration, and access to vital internal and external resources, providers continue to incorporate new features based on these trends.
Companies using innovative Intranet platforms will be able to leverage new technologies in ways that will profoundly affect employee engagement and productivity.
Keep an eye out for these five trends included below and get ready - the next set of Intranet features are poised to be truly disruptive, creating big changes for the digital workplace.
Mobile-first User Experience
Intranets should natively encourage and support workflows and collaboration to occur as efficiently as possible. Smartphones and tablets are clearly playing a bigger role in the digital workplace, and Intranet providers are continually looking at how to improve the mobile experience. Most Intranet platforms offer a mobile app, but the app generally replicates the browser experience and may not feel as seamless as other mobile-first technologies.
Mobile-first Intranets will incorporate native experiences covering engagement notifications, document management, sharing and more. They will support optimized user experiences on the user’s mobile device, meaning people can be more productive no matter where they are. Features will likely include one-click access to the most widely used parts of your company’s Intranet, better notifications, seamless transition between apps, stronger messaging capabilities and more.
Personalized Points of Presence
Intranets can store massive amounts of content, and even with powerful search functionalities, users can get frustrated with unstructured information. Personalized Points of Presence (PPP) would solve this problem by providing a smarter Intranet that will personalize each user’s individual experience depending on where they are within the Intranet.
Instead of having to search for information relative to you, the ‘smart Intranet’ will deliver content that applies to who you are within your organization and what you need to do your job. A personalized Intranet experience will help boost productivity by reducing time spent looking for information, and users will be able to better prioritize how they access and use content. Additionally, users could have content served up to them that is useful to their work that they may have not even known about.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
It is predicted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have an even bigger impact on business and society than social media - it will most definitely be essential to companies hoping to remain competitive. Intranets are massive repositories of data and information, and AI will leverage machine learning to unlock the intelligence behind the data and extract meaning that can be incorporated into digital workflows and user experiences.
AI is expected to change how companies gather information, and how employees engage with one another and their customers. The data stored within company Intranets can provide a better understanding of employee and customer actions and intentions, enabling better experiences that can improve engagement and productivity. As Intranet providers begin to incorporate AI capabilities, companies will be able to use critical data for organizational insights and decision making. This human-centered approach will improve how businesses relate to employees and customers alike.
The growth of enterprise social networks like Slack, Yammer and HipChat is proof of concept that welcoming social technologies into the workplace can improve engagement and productivity. Social technologies also help to build meaningful communities within the workplace.
We can expect Intranet providers to deliver more features that replicate the most popular social technologies, while enhancing them for use in the workplace. Features we can expect to see more of are live and on-demand video, improved newsfeeds, chatbots, suggested content, ‘smart search’ and more.
Voice command technologies are growing in the consumer market with the popularity of Alexa, Echo and Siri, and this will eventually transition further into the enterprise space - including voice as an interface for the Intranet. While this reality still might be a few years away, the building blocks that would allow this to become commonplace are playing out right now.
The Intranet that accepts spoken commands will allow for a more seamless workflow, helping employees access needed information without having to break out of their current process. Research conducted by Stanford University found voice command is three times faster than typing, suggesting that this integration would enormously improve work productivity. Combining voice command with AI for example, could lead to an Intelligent Assistant for each Intranet user, delivering needed content, performing mundane tasks and voicing important reminders. Voice command companies are currently working to refine this technology, as it still cannot distinguish certain accents or people with speech impediments, but once these challenges are resolved you can expect to start using voice as an interface.
More intelligent and innovative features like those listed above will keep people excited about using the Intranet as their main hub for collaboration and communication. Intranet innovation will play an important role in the future of work, pushing engagement and productivity in ways we’re yet to experience.