Intranets are supposed to be a source of information that employees can use to be more effective in their jobs. They’re supposed to be but the fact is, intranets tend to be unloved and ignored. Socialcast has pulled together an infographic that demonstrates how intranets are failing to live up to their promise in most environments.

A survey by Forrester Research from 2009 shows that just 43% of enterprise employees access an intranet every day. Worse, 35% of don’t even use their intranet on a monthly basis.

Why would they? According to surveys, many intranets suffer from a lethal trifecta of ineffectiveness:

  • Outdated information
  • Ineffective tools for collaboration
  • Poor organization and lousy search

This is according to survey information from TechTarget and Forrester, but anecdotally it fits with my experience as well. (For folks in the open source community, just replace “intranet” with “wiki,” and you’ll get the picture.)

It’s a vicious cycle, too. When employees find that the intranet doesn’t have what they’re looking for, they stop checking the intranet. If use and maintenance of the organization’s intranet isn’t encouraged, it doesn’t become a habit. It’s very rare that it is encouraged because (as the surveys have pointed out) intranet use is not tied to the two central goals for most organizations: revenue growth and innovation.

What do you think? Is your company an outlier, or does this fit with your experience as well?