Intranet trends in Finland 2014

Hanna P. Korhonen (North Patrol)

In the summer of 2014, Hanna P. Korhonen and her colleagues at North Patrol conducted the first “Intranet trends in Finland” study. At Intranätverk: Stockholm, she presented the results and pointed out some key differences between Finnish and Swedish intranets. 

Hanna P. Korhonen has had the position as intranet and web communication specialist at North Patrol for over a year. North Patrol is a quite small company that helps their clients to find the right intranet concept, technology and vendor. After getting some inspiration from Swedish intranet surveys, the company decided to conduct their own in Finland. And in the summer of 2014, the “Intranets in Finland 2014” study was published – the first intranet study ever performed in Finland. The survey was conducted as an online survey between the 6 of May until the 8 of June 2014. Hanna explains that the primary target group was intranet managers and they received 113 responses from 94 organizations. All together the participants answered 36 questions about intranets.

Typical Finnish intranets

After reviewing the answers, Hanna and her colleagues reached several interesting conclusions. The first thing they looked at was the top features of Finnish intranets. The survey shows that links to common tools, event calendars, phone books and organizational guidelines are at the top. Hanna explains that the social features overall are used to quite a big extent.

Finland vs. Sweden

According to Hanna, there are many similarities between Finnish and Swedish intranets, although they differ in some categories. (View in PPT-slide below) The big difference is in terms of the platforms. In Finland, half of the intranets are built on SharePoint whereas only one quarter of the Swedish companies use SharePoint as their platform. In Sweden, EPiServer is more frequently used.

Six trends in Finnish intranets

  1. Breakthrough of mobile

Almost half of the Finnish intranets (43 percent) are accessible with mobile devices, and 44 percent of the organizations are planning to jump on to this trend. According to Hanna, this will revolutionize the use of intranets for employees not working at a desk.

  1. Video content exploding

The survey shows that 42 percent of the Finnish organizations publish videos on their intranets. 71 percent have answered that they will increase the use of videos in the near future.

  1. More social features

Hanna explains that social features are quite common on Finnish intranets but still limited to some extent. The survey, however, predicts a great rise in social features over the next couple of years – especially in using intranets for praising co-workers and rewarding them for their good work, building up Q&A sections, and generating and sharing ideas and initiatives. The most common social feature today is the ability to comment on content.

  1. Wider collaboration possibilities

In regards to collaboration possibilities, especially sites or spaces for teamwork are getting more common. And the results of the survey points toward an up-going spiral.

  1. Integration into operational management

Hanna explains that the survey shows an increase in organizations publishing information about how they’re doing – key figures, reports etc. – as well as what’s happening around them – e.g. media monitoring and customer feedback. It is also getting more common to use the intranet as a strategic and/or operational tool to manage the company. However, this is still quite rare; according to the study only 23 percent of the Finnish intranets are strategically managed.

  1. Emphasis on transparency

Social tools, tools for teamwork and using the intranet as a strategic management tool – all this leads to greater transparency and openness. This is not only a trend that concerns the employees and management, but also customers and the market in the future.

A few recommendations

The “Intranets in Finland 2014” study brings some interesting trends and numbers to our attention. Whether the trends should be followed or not is up to each individual organization, but Hanna ended her presentation by giving a few recommendations from herself and her colleagues at North Patrol:

  • There are many types of intranet concepts – for different purposes and various organizational cultures. Therefore, you cannot copy an intranet.
  • First decide the concept, and then choose the technology.
  • The highly personalized front page is dead. Instead, spend your time thinking in terms of usable team sites/spaces or starting points for a few selected roles.
  • Mobile access will revolutionize intranets and internal communications. But is the IT-department ready for that level of openness? There might be concerns regarding security.
  • Nobody wants to own collaboration or the information inside the organization. Maybe the communications department just needs to grab it and make it work?

Biography Hanna P. Korhonen

Hanna P. Korhonen is a communications professional specialized in intranet concept design, defining requirements, as well as online and internal communications. Hanna has over ten years of experience with web services, e.g. as a content manager, buyer, product owner and administrator, as well as leading extensive roll-outs and training users. At North Patrol, an independent consulting company based in Finland, she consults on project planning and defining requirements, and supports the customers, especially in intranet concept design.