Intranet Portal Mistake #5: Downplaying the importance of integration

Many CIOs say that data integration significantly slows down their efforts to improve business processes. Yet when evaluating an intranet product for purchase, ease of integration is oftentimes underrated, the problem trivialized with the mistaken belief that web services, SOA or regularly scheduled data refresh can quickly fill the gaps.

Nowadays, tight integration with these systems is critical for company strategists. Real-time, on-demand information is needed by supply chain managers who must respond to inventory fluctuations, and sales/marketing teams tasked with increasing revenue and identifying new opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell. Since the primary value of an intranet lies within its ability to integrate data from a variety of applications for easier management, accepting anything less would give you little more than a fancy Web interface.

Make sure your new intranet will easily integrate with the company’s core systems. And plan to deliver a cohesive, well-integrated platform that will automatically refresh company dashboards whenever underlying data changes.

Also, make sure to integrate the intranet with external sources. RSS feeds that deliver current stock price, news, press release alerts, local traffic and more, will enhance the perceived value of your IT investment, and provide users with a full 360-degree view of the world, helping them make better, more informed decisions.

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