In April, we took on our first original research project and it’s been a very interesting process that I’ve come to enjoy. The topic: Canadian Intranet Practices. Our goal: tap into Canadian organizations. Why: to learn more about how Canadian organizations use intranets.
We are currently working through our data and we wanted to share a few preliminary findings throughout the next few weeks. For now, let me share with you a few tidbits from our first look at the results.
Regional Intranet Technology Preference
The first area of exploration was to look at regional differences in technology. Overall, we found that custom solutions, SharePoint, IBM Lotus and Oracle Enterprise Manager dominated as intranet platforms.
Looking at the Western region (British Columbia and Alberta), we saw that SharePoint (2007, 2010 and 2013) was the most popular platform of choice and was also a popular single solution picked.
In the Central region (Ontario and Quebec), we saw that combinations of platforms were chosen. Quite often we saw SharePoint combined with IBM Lotus or Oracle Enterprise Manager combined with another technology. However, custom solutions dominated as a single solution choice for central Canada.
This finding is leading us to ask more questions. It may even mean that some organizations are better at selling a solution.
At this point, we know our data will reveal plenty and paint a better picture of Canadian intranets. Stay tuned for more tidbits as we keep exploring our data!
Our Research Process
If you are curious about our research process, it is pretty simple—don’t get me wrong though, it takes a lot of hours to complete a large scale project but there are a few basic steps that we follow with research projects such as this one.
We started by creating a survey asking participants questions in several specific areas:
- To segment we included questions on organization size, industry and operations.
- For technology we asked questions to discover what was being used and integrated.
- In terms of content and functionality, we asked what was available on intranets.
- Governance questions helped us understand how intranets were being maintained and who was responsible.
- Lastly, questions on Intranet use led us to hurdles organizations had to jump through for successful intranet adoption.
Once the survey was created and vetted among us here at nForm, we pursued the appropriate groups of intranet professionals such as intranet managers, internal communicators and IT managers.
A few weeks of cold calling (a phrase we now call “smiling and dialling”) with my great teammates Kerryn and Gene (yay, go team!)—led us to the right people at many different organizations and companies within Canada. The seemingly endless hours most definitely yielded some great responses and a lot more questions to explore.
Now we are in the middle of analysis and interviewing a few participants. During this step, we are asking candidates for details about how their organization operates within the intranet, what struggles are apparent and how they have been successful in overcoming barriers. We’ll then compile everything into a nice report to share among the intranet community.