BrightStarr White Paper - Top Ten Benefits of Portal Technology
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BrightStarr White Paper - Top Ten Benefits of Portal Technology

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Portals are very much on the minds of business and government leaders. According to Gartner, enterprise portals are on CIOs’ lists of top ten technology focus areas....

Portals are very much on the minds of business and government leaders. According to Gartner, enterprise portals are on CIOs’ lists of top ten technology focus areas.
Forrester Research reports strong growth in portal development and usage, especially in financial services, retail and government.
Successful businesses are those that can provide timely information to employees through technology so they can deliver an excellent, branded experience at every customer touch point.
Whilst portal technology is not a silver bullet, it can become the conduit for communication and information flow across an organization. This paper identifies the ten most important benefits that an investment in a portal initiative can bring to an organization.

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    BrightStarr White Paper - Top Ten Benefits of Portal Technology BrightStarr White Paper - Top Ten Benefits of Portal Technology Document Transcript

    • WHITE PAPERTHE TOP TEN BENEFITS OF PORTAL TECHNOLOGY Will Saville Paramus, New Jersey | Houston, Texas | +1 888 777-6850 | brightstarr.com | info@brightstarr.com
    • ContentsExecutive Summary ................................................................................................................................................ 2Business Challenge ................................................................................................................................................. 3Enterprise Content Management ........................................................................................................................... 4Business Process Management .............................................................................................................................. 4Collaboration .......................................................................................................................................................... 4Employee Engagement ........................................................................................................................................... 5Carbon Footprint .................................................................................................................................................... 5Knowledge Management ....................................................................................................................................... 5Business Intelligence .............................................................................................................................................. 5Information Discoverability .................................................................................................................................... 6Portal Framework ................................................................................................................................................... 6Customer Engagement ........................................................................................................................................... 6Page 1 of 6 Paramus, New Jersey | Houston, Texas | +1 888 777-6850 | brightstarr.com | info@brightstarr.com
    • Executive SummaryPortals are very much on the minds of business and government leaders. According to Gartner, enterpriseportals are on CIOs’ lists of top ten technology focus areas.Forrester Research reports strong growth in portal development and usage, especially in financial services,retail and government.Successful businesses are those that can provide timely information to employees through technology so theycan deliver an excellent, branded experience at every customer touch point.Whilst portal technology is not a silver bullet, it can become the conduit for communication and informationflow across an organization. This paper identifies the ten most important benefits that an investment in aportal initiative can bring to an organization. 1. Enterprise content management 2. Business process management 3. Collaboration 4. Employee engagement 5. Carbon footprint 6. Knowledge management 7. Business intelligence 8. Information Discoverability 9. Portal framework 10. Customer engagementPage 2 of 6 Paramus, New Jersey | Houston, Texas | +1 888 777-6850 | brightstarr.com | info@brightstarr.com
    • Business Challenge 1In June 2008 Harvard Business Review conducted a study to identify the seventeen fundamental traits oforganizational effectiveness. The survey comprised of 26,000 people in 31 companies. Amongst the results ofthe study were five key traits that centered on information and communication. These were as follows:  Important information about the competitive environment gets to headquarters quickly (Ranked - 2)  Information flows freely across organizational boundaries (Ranked - 4)  Field and line employees usually have the information they need to understand the bottom-line impact of their day to day choices (Ranked - 5)  Line managers have access to the metrics they need to measure the key drivers of their business (Ranked - 6)  Conflicting messages are rarely sent to the market (Ranked - 8) Overall, information mattered most for successful strategy execution. As outlined in the study “when information does not flow horizontally across different parts of the company, units behave like silos, forfeiting economies of scale and the transfer of best practice. Moreover, the organization as a whole loses its opportunity to develop a cadre of up and coming managers well versed in all aspects of the company’s operations. “The following sections of this document highlight the top ten benefits of investing in a portal technology asidentified by the author of this paper.Page 3 of 6 Paramus, New Jersey | Houston, Texas | +1 888 777-6850 | brightstarr.com | info@brightstarr.com
    • Enterprise Content ManagementWithin many organizations there is a wide array of knowledge which has often grown over a period of manyyears. This knowledge comes in many forms such as documents, briefs, proposals to presentations and policiesand is often managed in very different ways by different people. A need for enterprise content managementcommonly arises when multiple versions of key information exist in different locations and when informationcannot be found and shared across the organization. Portals provide a platform for storing content in a centrallocation and enable information to be managed in a consistent manner.Traditionally, organizations have stored their IP on a machine basis – local hard drive, local server, sharedserver – allowing users to create folders within folders and applying very little control or governance over thelocation, classification or structure of the files in an enterprise context. ECM attempts to address this issue. Itreflects best practices and organizational processes by applying organization-specific classification to all files,allowing them to be made easily available to all accredited personnel wherever the author or user resides.Without the ability for Information Workers to find information that is accurate and relevant to them, there ispotential for major process inefficiencies – and cost.Business Process ManagementBusiness processes are a set of activities that require completion to achieve a specific business task.Automating these processes using software applications has been heavily discussed over the years and earlyattempts at reflecting real life processes were fraught with failure. However, this technology is now generallyconsidered to have come of age. It is now possible and practical to use systems which both reflect and improveon current organizational practices across the enterprise. A simple form residing on a web page may becompleted and submitted by the user and this alerts colleagues and co-workers using email to complete theprocess or move it on to the next process stage. More complex workflows with multiple parallel processes canbe accommodated relatively easily, all designed to simplify working practices.CollaborationA key part of an organization’s strategy is working with teams and individuals to achieve common goals.Portals provide tools to facilitate effective collaboration with the use of wikis, blogs, directory systems,calendars, forums, video conferencing and project management systems.Through the use of social media and social networking tools, users are able to review, discuss and manageinformation. A portal can become a platform for information and knowledge sharing, which leads tocontinuous improvement, implementation and adoption of best practice. Engaging employees through portaltechnology results in users who trust the organization because their ideas are being considered andimplemented in an open forum. When employees feel they are providing a useful contribution to theirorganization they are more likely to feel useful, engaged and part of the organizational culture - working moreeffectively as a result.Page 4 of 6 Paramus, New Jersey | Houston, Texas | +1 888 777-6850 | brightstarr.com | info@brightstarr.com
    • Employee EngagementAccording to a study by Yankee Group, 82 percent of respondents cited employee self-service as a primarybusiness driver for portal-based initiatives; 80 percent cited improving customer and partner self-service.Portals can become a driver for employee engagement through increased collaboration and improved businessprocesses. Employee engagement is the degree to which an employee feels a sense of attachment to anorganization. The level to which an employee engages with the business has a direct effect on businessperformance. If employees are engaged with the business, their productivity levels increase. Portalsencourage employee communication and act as a driver for employee engagement through the developmentof clear communication channels with employees and a direct understanding of the corporate objectives andstrategy.Carbon FootprintWith the increasing importance of climate change issues, organizations are under pressure to reduce theircarbon footprint. Portals can play a critical role in the implementation of a green strategy. The increasedefficiency and streamlining of business processes through the use of online workspaces encouragessubstantially fewer physical activities such as meetings and the printing of documents.Employees are also enabled to work remotely, resulting in a saving in the amount of physical workspace thecompany needs to provide and in time spent travelling.Knowledge ManagementManaging the dissemination of knowledge through an organization is key to its success; it is imperative thatwhen people leave the company or department that the knowledge does not leave with them.Making knowledge explicit involves it being recorded in media that allows another person to use it. Portalscan help make knowledge explicit by ensuring that through the use of information collaboration tools such asblogs, wikis and discussion boards it is captured and stored on a central platform and can be harnessed andused both now and in the future.The storage of useful information and knowledge is only half the battle. Making it available in the rightcontext is paramount to getting the most out of the technology. As discussed in the enterprise contentmanagement section, classifying information within the taxonomic context of the organization makes it evenmore useful. Every industry has its vocabulary and it is the adoption of this vocabulary within the knowledgesystem which permits the surfacing of relevant data to the user. This ability to find information is covered inmore detail in the following section.Business IntelligenceIn today’s competitive and fast moving world, having accurate and up-to-date metrics about the performanceof the organization is vital for successful decision making. Business intelligence harnesses data from across anorganization, analyses it and presents it back to the relevant user. Portal technologies are able to connect todisparate information sources and retrieve vital data, surface it in the form of charts, graphs and reports andprovide personalized targeted dashboards enabling users to see the big, and relevant, picture.Page 5 of 6 Paramus, New Jersey | Houston, Texas | +1 888 777-6850 | brightstarr.com | info@brightstarr.com
    • Information DiscoverabilityPeople spend a great deal of time trying to find relevant information they need to do their job at work. Oftenthis data resides in disparate systems making it hard to find and track down. Making information visible andeasily accessible is key to enabling information to flow quickly across and through an organization. A welldesigned portal that has benefited from the use of design methodologies such as User Centric Design (UCD) inits implementation focuses on the needs of the user, and information architecture as well as a powerful andflexible search engine can ensure that information is always only a few clicks away from a user. Furthermorethe use of data tagging using a structured and relevant taxonomy can ensure that information is categorizedand easily accessible to the users.Portal FrameworkTechnology is a necessary part of everyday working life for most people these days, but it is often the case thatthey are overwhelmed by the many different systems they are required to master to carry out their work.There is frequently no single place to find information and no space of their own to store documents andinformation reflecting their expertise and skills. By its very design, portal technology can provide a single placeto find information, business data and it allows connections to other lines of business systems without havingto bother the users with different user interfaces or a new set of login credentials. Technologies likeSharePoint are also able to provide users with their own website for storing data and information aboutthemselves. A portal framework can increase productivity by providing a single gateway into a company’s dataand systems and also increase IT user adoption by providing a familiar consistent user interface.Customer EngagementThe Yankee Group study also cited improving customer and partner self-service as an important businessdriver for portal-based initiatives.Engaging with customers is important in building and maintaining strong relationships and delighting themwith your services. Repeated interactions with a customer will strengthen the emotional, psychological orphysical investment a customer has in your relationship. Organizations around the world are discovering thatWeb 2.0 technologies and user-generated content are amazing ways to make lasting consumer connections.Streaming and mobile media, podcasts, rich internet applications (RIA) and syndication technologies like RSSengage and involve the user. Similarly, consumer-generated content, in a variety of forms; video, photos,blogs, wikis involve the user in the active life of the site. Portal technologies provide platforms to engage yourcustomers in a Web 2.0 context and play their part in involving your customers at every stage of their journeywith you.It is no longer enough to send a monthly newsletter to your customers. To compete in difficult financial times,it is important to provide your customers with useful information, enabling them to make better decisions andultimately tying them to you by providing services that your competitors do not.Page 6 of 6 Paramus, New Jersey | Houston, Texas | +1 888 777-6850 | brightstarr.com | info@brightstarr.com