Excitement about corporate intranets wanes as they become “siloed” by business units. Companies are starting to look to enterprise portals as a remedy. But it takes significant investment to go from intranet websites to a “B2E” portal that will be a single point of entry for employees, partners and even customers, and provide not just information but self-service capabilities, workflow processes and even integrated application interfaces. The IT consulting company Logical Design Solutions of Morristown, N.J., offers the following points to think about when developing an enterprise portal.
- “Adoption It’s simple: Small user base equals small savings.
- “Availability 24/7 uptime and secure Internet access will maximize your investment.
- “Usability Few things will drive customers and employees away faster than a poor interface.
- “Operating costs Keep in mind that portals require maintenance and additional support personnel after the initial investment.
- “Content publishing and distribution Print only as a last resort and avoid “print friendly” formats that will only push your costs to the local level.
- ” Automation Put self-service transactions in the hands of the user and employ call centers and other support staff to case management only.
- “Operational efficiencies Think workflow. Decrease cycle time; reduce backsliding into less efficient habits.
- “Data access Use the portal as a thin, cheap, secure front end to legacy data.
- “Collaboration Reduce production and travel costs; increase efficiencies and corporate knowledge capital.
- “Soft ROI” opportunities Although difficult to quantify, gains in employee productivity, retention and communication are very real.
Source: “The Logical Report” from Logical Design Solutions