Social Intranets and the Supply Chain: Thoughts from 451 Research


Intranets have been around for more than a decade, but they’ve undergone several evolutions. From static bulletin boards in the 1990s to a more interactive and human-driven platform we now know as a social intranet, they’ve been a mainstay in offices for more than 15 years.

In a recent report on social intranets and their impact on an end-to-end supply chain, 451 Research writes that intranets are nearing the end of a lifecycle. This presents an ideal opportunity for companies to reevaluate their current solution and leverage new technologies to bring greater efficiency and productivity to their organizations.

Incentive was included in the report, in which 451 Research writes that social intranet technologies can fall into multiple categories. One of the most notable and sizable is that of enterprise social and collaboration tools. With an extremely high growth rate, this sector is anticipated to be a $24 billion market by 2019.


Forces for Social Intranets

There were several forces in 2016 that contributed to the growing popularity and need for social intranet technologies, as well as how they are evolving.


One very basic reason for the increase is the awareness among companies that socialization and collaboration in the office is essential for growth – yet many companies are struggling to determine if their way of collaborative work is actually effective. A more fragmented and remote workforce is changing “the archetype for intranets and introduces many more factors to consider, from mobility and security to fundamentally different organizational dynamics, when conceiving, designing and building an intranet system.”

Controlled employee communication and monitoring and work automation are additional factors affecting the evolution of social intranets that are covered more in depth in the 451 Research report.

Vendor Types for Social Intranets

With this background on the importance and evolution of social intranet technologies, it’s important for organizations to evaluate their current solution and how well it’s serving their business needs. There are several different vendor categories when it comes to social intranets, and often a provider or solution will fall into multiple categories. Understanding the different types of solutions that are available will help you make the right choice for your organization.

Here are just a few that 451 Research identified:

  • Intranet Specialists provide a single platform that incorporates multiple tools such as chat, blogs, wikis, directories and more to build a corporate intranet. Incentive falls into this category because we provide a feature-rich, all-in-one platform.

  • Enterprise Collaboration and Social technology is very similar to that provided by intranet specialists, but it usually has more of a focus on task and project management functions and working collaboratively.

  • Unified Communications providers give control and management to multiple enterprise communication methods involving online, voice and video chat.

  • File Sharing, also known as enterprise file sync and share (EFSS), gives users the ability to synchronize a file and access it on multiple devices in multiple locations making it easer for teams to work collaboratively.

Intranets are a tricky business, but not one that can’t be conquered and leveraged to your business’ benefit. 451 Research says:

It is a marketplace going through considerable consolidation and reinvention…and one where we continue to see new entrants emerge with novel and potentially disruptive approaches to traditional collaborative working methods.

Equip yourself to capitalize on these disruptive approaches. Armed with a bit more knowledge about the forces propelling social intranets forward and the types of vendor options available to you, we hope you’ll feel more empowered to find a solution that is perfect for your organization and business needs.

Fore more in depth information about the evolution of social intranets and choosing the right one for your company, download the 451 Research report summary.