Blogs & News

Follow us on other social networks.

3 minutes reading time (516 words)

The difference between an Intranet, Social Intranet and Enterprise Social Network

The difference between an Intranet, Social Intranet and Enterprise Social Network

Intranets have been around for decades. They're the central 'hub' of an organization whereby employees can access company news, information, policies and documents. Traditional intranets were designed for one-way communication whereby information was constructed by management and consumed by employees.

With the introduction of social collaboration and communication tools for business, intranet vendors are recognising the market shift towards interactive communication requirements. Being the central point of contact, traditional intranets are now in danger of becoming obsolete as they are replaced by software that allows greater flexibility and employee interaction.

Social Intranets have therefore evolved from traditional intranets by combining the hub of company information with the latest social communication tools.

While many social intranets stem from intranet upgrades, enterprise social networks are different because they have emerged through social business software and enterprise collaboration products. With social collaboration and communication at their core, enterprise social networks already include intranet, document management and CMS functionality as basic features.

The result is that Social Intranets are now available in two main varieties; they're either an upgraded intranet or they're an enterprise social network deployed as a social intranet.

Illustrated as follows:


Which social intranet is leading the way?

Naturally, traditional Intranet vendors are in a catch-up mode because they're working to integrate social features into existing products that are often deployed on-site, have legacy architecture, outdated interfaces and limited portability. The roadmap and timeline is focused on upgrades that vary based on business priorities and client demands.

On the other hand, enterprise social network providers already have their social features nailed. As well as the usual intranet features one would expect, social intranets include mobile and tablet apps, advanced employee workspaces, knowledge management applications, task management features, calendar and event integrations, day-to-day workflow integrations, sophisticated activity stream filters, cross application search cataloguing etc.

Enterprise social networking providers are therefore dictating the direction of the industry because efforts are focused on improving, refining and adding new social business collaboration tools to increase productivity and employee engagement.

Why then are enterprise social networks branding themselves as social intranets?

The concept of a Social Intranet is easier for decision makers to understand and purchase. For example, iPhones are actually hand held super-computers with telephony as a basic core feature. Mobile phones were already an established market therefore it was easier for people to understand and upgrade to the iPhone than to be educated about a new concept in mobile computing.

Social collaboration and communication technologies span many different departments and present various questions that companies are still working through. Relevant questions include ownership, project sponsors, cultural challenges etc that have been explained in my blog titled "Who Owns the Enterprise Social Network?"

It is important that the market appreciates the differences between the two breeds of social intranets in order to make informed decisions when upgrading or replacing current intranets or deploying enterprise social networks alongside intranets.

Mumba Cloud is an enterprise social software provider that implements social intranets, enterprise social networks and social collaboration tools integration with current intranet and IT systems. Read more about Mumba Cloud's implementation options.

The Internal Employee Communication Revolution is ...
Teamwork Should be a Key Employee Engagement Idea

Related Posts

You may also be interested in...

Thought Leadership
Formed in 1988, many regard the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as the best of its kind in the world.Whether you share this view or, believe instead, that this accolade should go to the Berlin or Vienna...
Various Ideas
According to a ComScore report, 2014 represented a major milestone for mobile devices, in that mobile usage exceeded the number of desktop internet users for the first time. Furthermore, other major r...
Various Ideas
This is an article I wrote that appeared on www.socialmediatoday.comThe Problem With EmailMcKinsey’s research indicates that interaction workers typically spend 28% of each day (13 hours a week) readi...
Various Ideas
Whether you’re in fashion, food, banking, automotive or the plethora of other retail organizations, there is a good chance that you’re looking for ways to reduce your costs and increase business effic...
News & Announcements
The Mumba Cloud team is pleased to announce the official release of Mumba Cloud Third Generation Enterprise Social Networking Platform for June 2013 titled Mumba Cloud G3.Mumba Cloud G3 has been compl...
Thought Leadership
Social Media has taught us that through on-line networks, we can share experiences, create friendships, collaborate with each other and inspire ideas and activities. Social media is fun and when you a...
Thought Leadership
We recently had an article published on the popular US Technology Business website which discussed how social collaboration tools are being misunderstood. The article has to date been Twee...
Thought Leadership
Companies spend millions of dollars annually on various forms of regulatory compliance, be it government, industry or even self-imposed internal compliance. Compliance can range from occupational heal...
Thought Leadership
I was recently drawn to a post by Michael J Groves in the Business Weekly on 9 August 2016. In his article entitled: End-users expect more from business applications, Groves discusses an important tre...
In the 1990s, “build it and they will come” was the mantra for the dot com boom when businesses were launching their own websites and merely praying traffic would arrive. However as businesses adapted...
Various Ideas
In some ways, the Social Collaboration and Social Business Software industry has not helped itself by adopting the “Social” epithet. It has to some extent given these powerful and effective tools a ba...
News & Announcements
Mumba has delivered strong year-on-year growth in the 2018 financial year, capped off by the win of two large iconic retail giants at year end. Come new financial year, the Mumba team was thrilled to ...