Welcome to the zettabyte era. We are so deluged with information, it’s surprising that anybody gets anything done while trying to sort the signal from the noise.
Between emails, reports and metadata there is an overwhelming stream of information threatening to derail work. Some of it is useful; most of it is not even remotely relevant.
So what can you do about it? Technology has created much of this problem, but it is also the solution. An intranet can drastically improve communication while getting information to employees when they need it.
Send the right message
Through your intranet, you can send very precise, targeted communications to your employees, for example video demonstrations when rolling out a new project. So instead of throwing a barrage of information at them and hoping something sticks, you send a tailored message that cuts through the data fog. Crucially, analytics will enable you to measure if the key message is getting through and whether employees understand it.
Drowning in email
Email is still the primary form of communication in most businesses. While it’s certainly a convenient tool for certain purposes, it is vastly overused. Last year the typical business user sent or received 122 emails per day. Likely, the majority of these messages were more of a hindrance than a help to the recipient. It has become such a problem that some organisations have gone so far as to ban the ‘Reply All’ button.
Your intranet will lessen the use of unnecessary emails by creating an alternate channel of communication – a repository of valuable information that may not be urgent right now, but important nonetheless. For instance, if you develop an improved procedure, it makes more sense to post to the company blog than send it to every inbox.
Where is your data?
An organisation’s information system is only as good as its retrieval capabilities. Much like a huge library without a cataloging system, if you cannot find the right data, it might as well not be there. An intranet with good data architecture will not only store useful information, but will also make it easy to locate without a lengthy search. Having vital information in the correct context at your fingertips will allow for speedier resolutions, instead of wading through a mass of documents.
Filter out the din
The human brain can deal with only so much data at a time before it starts having a negative effect. A sort of paralysis sets in, and then decision-making suffers. An intranet can cut down on this overflow using tools like filtering algorithms and content curation. Instead of being flooded by irrelevant information, your intranet will send pertinent information your way according to your needs.
Living in the Information Age has many benefits. But without careful management, there is a risk that too much knowledge becomes a burden instead of a help. That’s why you need a customized intranet. It will ensure that important information is distributed to where it is needed without clogging up the system. Cut through the noise. Your employees will thank you for it.
Bawden, D. & Robinson, L. 2009. The dark side of information: Overload anxiety and other paradoxes and pathologies. Journal of Information Science, 35(2). Retrieved 27 October 2015, from http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/3109/1/dark%20side%20of%20information.pdf
Furda, I. 2014. The Zettabyte Era: Here to Stay. Foresight Investor. Retrieved 27 October 2015, from http://foresightinvestor.com/articles/209993-the-zettabyte-era-here-to-stay
www.radicati.com. 2015. Email statistics report, 2015-2019. Retrieved 27 October 2015, from http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Email-Statistics-Report-2015-2019-Executive-Summary.pdf