Since the early days of intranets, companies have recognized the value of moving employee collaboration, document management and communication into digital tools such as email, shared document repositories, video conferencing and much more. The evolution of intranets to employee portals to the digital workplace is spurred by this adoption of technology; however, the last five years have seen a paradigm shift that runs parallel to the maturing trend of digital transformation.
Intranets began as a secure way for companies to manage digital assets and communicate internally. Portal platforms were often chosen to build custom intranets because of their ability to provide authenticated experiences and integration with other systems.
As smartphones matured and laptops became more affordable, employee portals moved the concept of an intranet outside the corporate firewall to enable remote access across employees’ preferred devices while maintaining security. Because people were increasingly online in their personal lives, they began to prefer easy digital tools such as Dropbox, Gmail and Facebook to the custom tools that most organizations offered for document storage, email and collaboration. In response, employee portals grew to either provide integration with newer solutions or replicate their designs.