Whether still labeled “intranet” or subsumed as part of an employee experience platform, a portal that provides employees quick and easy access to digital work resources and company information while also supporting and encouraging engagement remains an important element of many companies’ efforts to optimize employee experience and build company culture.
“While also supporting and encouraging engagement” is a key differentiator between the traditional intranet, born in the mid-1990s as an internal-facing version of the Internet, and today’s iteration. This is critical as companies look to address the chief pain point that Metrigy’s workplace collaboration research reveals about remote work today: loss of community and culture. Another difference between the old and new is the ability to support a broader set of employees with more access options and the use of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to create a more personalized experience on a per-employee basis.
Few companies don’t have or aren’t planning to implement an intranet today, as we’ve seen in our Employee Experience: 2023-24 research benchmark study with 499 companies globally. This study shows that nearly 75% of companies already have an intranet in place today (48.3%) or are planning to implement one by year’s end (24.2%). An additional 18.2% have an intranet on their adoption roadmaps for as early as 2024, or are evaluating their options.
The approach to the company intranet continues to evolve. For example, the build-your-own days are in the past for most companies. Metrigy’s data shows that 55.8% of companies with an intranet today have purchased an intranet platform, vs. 36.7% that still have a homegrown intranet in place.
Also behind us are the days in which the only employees with intranet access were knowledge workers. The majority of companies in our employee experience research are providing intranet access to all employees: 86.4% to desk/office workers, 79.4% to customer-facing employees such as contact center agents or service desk personnel, and 71.5% to frontline workers who are out in the “field” and don’t have desks. Browser and desktop apps remain the primary means that employees use to access the intranet, for 65.7% and 53.7% of companies, but many have extended access to means more suitable for the frontline workforce and others away from their desks. Nearly 48% offer a mobile app, and just shy of 40% allow access via digital signage, a kiosk, or other shared terminal.
As mentioned, AI and automation are becoming integral to the modern intranet, especially as companies look to engage employees with contextually relevant information. Using advanced techniques, companies no longer must deliver the same set of information to all users accessing the intranet. Rather, they can surface content based on factors such as geography, organization, personal preferences, or role. Such is the top use case for nearly 65% of companies using an intranet today, with communicating corporate news a close follower—with some of that news likely tailored to individual employees, as well, at companies that are using AI and automation.
And, getting to that cultural pain point noted above, 51.7% say building and sustaining corporate culture is a top use case for them. Of course, such efforts are all for naught if employees aren’t actually bothering to use the intranet. Companies seem to be on the right track, though, in drawing employees in. In the Employee Experience study, two-thirds of companies using an intranet say employees access the portal at least three times a week.