Intranet SharePoint

What users really want

In Cloud2 we spend a lot of time thinking about SharePoint use, intranets, user adoption and the challenges of matching what people want, with what they think they want and what other people (usually managers, communications and IT folk) say they should want. We also try to match this to what we see being successful.

It’s not an easy thing to do – often there is a major gap between what the project owners tell us and what we know to be likely or true. And we have to tell them they are wrong somehow – some of our team are less blunt and more forgiving than others (I’ll leave it to you to decide which camp you think I am in).

In Cloud2 we talk a lot about ‘Putability’ and ‘Findability’ – having sensible places for all your stuff (whether personal business content, corporate documents or something in between) and the ability to find that stuff regardless of who you are and where it was put.

We talk a lot about changing ways of working and how a great intranet enables that; and the pain that comes from uses having to learn new habits to take advantage of the benefits (and we all know how much people adore change!).

We certainly talk about the benefits a lot, trying to evangelise what the intranet could do for individuals, teams and the organisation as a whole.

Some of our top evangelised things are:

  • Collaboration, the ability to work with other team members regardless of where and when you are
  • Paperless working, getting rid of that tricky folding stuff and replacing it with more agile, manageable and shareable alternatives
  • On demand, ensuring that whatever you need it at your fingertips, wherever you are and whatever device you have to hand
  • Findability, being able to find what you want within seconds (our target is less than 80 seconds)
  • Putability, we maintain there is only about five different places to put things (in my team areas, my personal area, in projects I’m working on, shared with the entire organisation, everything else)
  • Community, since 60 to 70% of all corporate knowledge is bound up in the staff it is vital that the intranet makes it easy to find the people you need and engage with them
  • Business Process, creating business efficiencies through rapid development of applications that sold business needs within the intranet

So it was interesting to come across this study from Microsoft carried out in 2013. It uses an interesting pair of axes which indicate how appealing feature capability is, which seems to related to personal preference, and how important it is

What users really want
What users really want


This survey adds some further insight, especially slides 4 & 5:


The exciting this for us is that our Hadron 8020 solution covers the things that most users want

The two things challenges that leap out are:

•    Barriers to adoption

•    Systems integration

By Simon Hudson

Simon Hudson is an entrepreneur, health sector specialist and founder of Cloud2 Ltd. and Kinata Ltd. and, most recently, Novia Works Ltd. He has an abiding, evangelical interest in information, knowledge management and has a lot to say on best practice use of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and cloud technologies, the health sector, sustainability and more. He has had articles and editorials published in a variety of knowledge management, clinical benchmarking and health journals. He is a co-facilitator of the M365 North User Group Leeds and is Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Hull.

Simon is passionate about rather too many things, including science, music (he writes and plays guitar & mandola), skiing, classic cars, technology and, by no means least, his family.


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