Intranet Evolution

Intranets are increasingly becoming an integral component of an organization’s information technology infrastructure. A recent survey from International Data Corporation (IDC) on intranet uses and intended usage revealed companies' use of intranets is expanding to include more applications.

"The intranet is beginning a critical change in its evolution," says Mike Comiskey, an analyst with IDC’s Intranet Strategies research program. "User expectations have risen to a level that eclipses the notion of the intranet as a secondary information resource. Users will expect more from their intranets, especially as new technology allows better information management and business process integration."

The IDC survey revealed that the top four intranet uses remained the same as last year: information sharing, information publishing, e-mail and document management. However, the survey showed applications such as data conferencing that played less significant roles on intranets in the past play a more significant role this year and are being used more often.

Other findings from IDC’s survey included:

  • Most organizations surveyed rely on internal expertise when designing or implementing an intranet.
  • More than half the organizations surveyed had a corporate standard for Web browsers.
  • Microsoft’s Internet Information Server is the most widely used HTTP server among respondents.
  • Of the organizations surveyed that did a post-implementation analysis, most said their goals had been met or exceeded.

The survey also revealed the corporate mindset on information is changing. Companies are moving from a top-down hierarchical philosophy to a more open, horizontal, collaborating one.

"Whether or not the intranet is responsible for transforming the insular information-hoarding mentality that has established itself over many years in business, it is clear that intranets enable better information sharing," said Ian Campbell, Vice President of IDC’s Collaborative Technologies group. "The instant access to real-time information that intranets enable provides a clear competitive advantage."

For more information, visit www.idc.com.