Traditional intranets are finished, predicts ESN expert

Traditional intranets are finished, predicts Bitrix24 expert

October 10, 2014

Traditional intranets will die out as social media continues to change the workplace forever, an enterprise social network expert predicts.

Dmitry Davydov suggets the lines between social media and internal communication will become blurred, eventually leading to a more “informal and organic” approach with colleagues.

And the chief marketing officer at tool-based ESN Bitrix24 has no doubt over the future of old-style intranets.

He insists the internal channel, which remains an integral part of many organisations’ comms set-ups, will soon be obsolete.

He said: “I think that pure IC is going to be reserved for large organisations only.

“If you look at SharePoint, for example, the median salary for SP administrators has dropped by 7 per cent in a single year, according to The Redmond Magazine.

“Companies are getting rid of SharePoint administrators, partly because it is now available in the cloud as well.

“As old intranets are dying out, so will be old style IC. It’s likely that new IC leaders will be more informal and organic.

“And I would not be a least bit surprised if smaller companies will have a single person act in two capacities, both as social media manager and IC, because you essentially need the same set of traits and skills to be successful in both fields.

“Another obvious trend is that a lot of business owners and CEOs understand the power of personality and how important it is to communicate with employees, so a lot of bosses assume more and more IC responsibilities as well.”

Dmitry is part of the Bitrix24 team – an established private social network with more than 100,000 companies on the books.

He cites the integration of workplace tools like Dropbox, Basecamp, Skype and Zoho as a reason why Bitrix24 stands out from the crowd.

He said: “First generation ESN (Yammer, for example) are Facebook clones. They don’t have work tools and are of limited use to small companies.

“Second generation of ESN (like Bitrix24) are tool-centric. For example Bitrix24 comes with a total of 35 tools.

“More than 100,000 companies have signed up with Bitrix24 so far.

“That’s pretty impressive. There are several markets, like Russia or Ukraine, where Bitrix24 is more popular than Yammer.”

As with all digital platforms, Bitrix24 is continually evolving.

Indeed, the latest iteration of Bitrix24 is scheduled to be unveiled on October 14 with a major new redesign and fresh tools in the pipeline.

This evolution reflects the changing nature of the workplace as digital continues to reshape working life.

Dmitry said: “Social is changing workplace, there’s no doubt about it. Distributed teams are becoming a norm, not an exception.

“These changes come with positive and negatives. For example, you can save a lot of money now by outsourcing support services to India or other countries – which is a plus.

“But the internet is full of call centre horror stories, when you get a person on the other end of the line who does not understand anything you are saying and can’t help you.

“We focus on ‘negatives’ these changes bring and figure out how to fix them. We ‘love’ problems that many ESNs struggle with, like low adoption rates or mindless chatter over corporate network, because fixing those is our business and our advantage.”