Increased productivity, lower costs and the quest for competitive advantage are driving the adoption of intranet technology, not the marketing and media hype.
This is according to a report from Hewlett-Packard, which surveyed 300 UK organisations across a range of different sectors and sizes on issues around intranets, including Java, NCSA and browsers.
Nearly half of all those questioned said they expected to use Java and Network Computers in the near future, with half of those already doing so. Web-enabled software also proved a popular future bet, with Lotus Domino, Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer all showing significant growth rates.
IE was also predicted to become the market leading browser, in use by 60% of organisations.
John Saw, product marketing manager at HP, said the survey was a sanity check on what was really happening among IT users as opposed to all the hype and marketing spiel.
"Most of what's written about intranets today looks at what's going to happen in the near future. Little has been said about who is doing what with this technology now," he said.
Saw said the survey revealed a number of inhibitors to faster adoption of intranets. Users find the technology complicated to implement and manage, they are still worried about security, and they are unsure how to adapt to existing legacy systems to link to these new technologies.
He also said there was a significant gulf in technology use developing between the US and the UK and that the Confederation of British Industry was warning UK companies that they need to remain technologically competitive.
One important area that is failing to drive intranet growth is electronic commerce, which was in use by less that 5% of organisations, with many of those in the retail sector. Only 20% of organisations said they would connect an intranet to external partners to form an extranet.
Surprisingly, the survey showed that nearly 60% of projects were being driven by the IT department as opposed to the business or the board. There was a consensus of opinion that the main drivers for intranet development were increased productivity, lower costs and the search for competitive advantage.
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