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Oscar Berg is a senior consultant, working with strategy, business analysis, and architecture within Enterprise Collaboration. Oscar has been writing about how to use social technologies for business purposes on his blog The Content Economy since 2007, and since 2011 as contributing author for CMS Wire. Oscar is passionate about creating solutions that make work and life simpler for people. He has been a frequent speaker at various intranet conferences in the Nordic countries, and at European conferences such as the Enterprise 2.0 Summit, Social Business Forum in Milan, and Social Now in Portugal. Oscar is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 52 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

The simple reason most intranets fail

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I’ve written on this blog and elsewhere about 6 things to expect from your intranetwhy traditional intranets fail today's knowledge workerswhat is wrong with SharePoint, if employees really need intranets (and answered the question with a 'no') and why the Digital Workplace is both necessary and relevant. You can find several reasons why traditional intranets fail today’s knowledge workers in these posts. But there’s an even simpler way to put it.

For an intranet team, the intranet is usually the center of the universe. It’s what they do.

For the employees, on the other hand, the intranet is only one component of many in their digital workplace that they need to interact with.

The intranet team may have a holisitic view of the intranet, being able to see how all its different parts fit together, and all the stakeholders it is there to serve. However, what most intranet teams lack is a holistic view of the employee’s everyday work and a holistic view of the employee’s entire digital work environment.

The only way to provide an intranet that actually supports the everyday work of the employees is to understand the work employees do on a daily basis, what tasks they perform, what information they need, who they interact with, and the typical situations they find themselves in. Including what other tools and services they use. These things need to be viewed from the employee’s perspective, not from the intranet’s perspective. Don't start with the intranet in mind. Start with the employee in mind.

It’s that simple – and that hard.

Published at DZone with permission of Oscar Berg, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)