4 Future Scenarios: Reality Check 6 Years Later

Jane McConnell's picture

Intentions vs. reality, time for a closer look

My research into intranets and digital work environments over the past 10 years (since 2007)  has shed light on a wide range of trends and challenges. My 2011 research questions included asking people about their vision and planning around four future scenarios for the following three to five years. We’re now in 2017, six years later, and it’s time to see how things have evolved in those four areas:

  • My Apps
  • Smart Systems
  • People-Centric
  • Super Search

In 2011, I specifically asked people (1) how they rated the potential value of each scenario and, if relevant to them, (2) how far advanced they were in achieving them.

I’ve set up a Quick Poll with the same 2 questions. Please do the poll (link below), and share the link within your networks. The more voices the better. Thank you!


Results will be shared directly with all participants, and a summary document published.

The 4 scenarios: descriptions


My Apps – Getting Work Done

The intranet has evolved into a set of highly customized apps. People select what they need to do their jobs and build their own “intranet”. They can even define their own mashups by combining information from different sources into personal apps that can be shared with others.


smart systems

Smart Systems – Relevant User Experience

Smart systems make the user experience highly relevant. They take past behavior and context into account and deliver information in meaningful ways. For example, they are aware of when a person last read a policy document and alerts them the next time they embark on a process where the policy has changed.


People Centric – Actionable & Real-Time

Content-centric intranets have become people-centric. Social networking, social tagging, location awareness and other technologies come together in a people-centric intranet. Presence indicators are integrated into business processes. Teams can be formed and experts consulted, easily and quickly. People can connect to each other in actionable ways based on expertise, location and availability.


Super Search – Relevance & Control

People can easily search across structured and unstructured information from different sources and applications. Semantic search, faceted search, search-driven menus and decision engines (using input from the user) give people greater relevance and control over vast amounts of information from inside and outside the enterprise.

Photo credits: All purchased by Jane except My Apps, which is from Jeffrey on Flikr.



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