Five Core Tenets of the Social Intranet - Slide 5

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Simply pulling in events via a REST API or integrating via OpenSocial won’t be enough to make your intranet a place that people rely on to get their work done. If they can’t execute business processes from right within the intranet, and instead have to toggle away to the application in question, then their motivation to live in your intranet will wane quickly. That’s not true integration with enterprise social computing tools.

True integration with the social intranet must be bi-directional. If your company’s Oracle Expenses system sends an expense report into your activity stream, you should be able to view and approve it right there. If you want to upload a document to your document management system, you should be able to pull it from your computer, write a message in your social platform that puts it in context, and post it to both the intranet and the document management system.

According to Chris Lynch from TIBCO Software Inc., there’s been no shortage of people saying that social computing represents the next wave of the corporate intranet, the latter being a piece of technology that’s been perpetually disappointing. For a place that’s supposed to be the starting point of people’s day, it has never lived up to that expectation.

The first wave of intranets were static, imposing too much friction for end-users who wanted to post new information. People had to wait for their IT department to hack HTML code and update the page. Then came the second generation of intranets — the self-service variety — that brought more functional use, but ultimately the most time you spent there was during your first and last week working at the company. They also lacked a critical element: People. Who does what? And who can help me get my job done better?

So naturally, enterprise social computing came to save the day and deliver that critical people element, right?

Well, yes, but that isn’t the most complicated part of the equation.

The new intranet will be a heterogeneous environment of systems across the whole company — and the challenges of actionable integration points and relevancy will far outweigh the people part of the equation. What the social intranet won’t be is a homogeneous, monolithic software stack that only incorporates people and systems based on one vendor’s view of the world. As a new generation of CIOs take the ranks, they’re realizing such a strategy for their corporate intranet isn’t “good enough” at all.

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