Enterprise Information Portals: Building Value within Organization

06 Jun. 2011 Software Development

Enterprise Information Portals or corporate portals, is a framework for integrating information, people and processes across the organization. It provides a secured unified access to all the enterprise business applications and information that helps employees make better and more informed decisions. It also helps reduce cost, saves time, increases collaboration, productivity and performance.

Some of the important features of Enterprise Information Portals are Single sign-on, Integration, customization, personalization, access control and enterprise search. It should also be kept in mind that if you have a lot of legacy applications to bring into a single sign-on framework, a practical approach is to start with the ones that are used most frequently across organization.

It is a best practice to design and manage intranet portal differently than internet because they have different purpose, audience and information. The table laid below shows some of the aspects and best practices that should be kept in mind while developing an Enterprise Information Portals.

Aspect Best Practices
Business Goals Broad Goals, including: communicate information accurately, improve staff efficiency
Audience Internal Users: good understanding of organisation, wide range of information needs
Familiarity Frequent Users: familiar with site and organisation
Efficiency Primary goal of the site: to improve staff efficiency
Browser and Platform Consistent (SOE: Standard Operating Environment)
Size Medium to large
Content & Structure Broad, varied information and type of content
Content Updates Daily
Presentation Consistency more important than appearance
Authoring Models Typically decentralised
Meta Data Support the needs of staff and site management
Integration with other Systems Extensive, core part of site functionality
Legal Liability Reduced Legal Exposure
Accessibility & Usability Very Important

Considerations for Enterprise Information Portals:

The Enterprise Information Portals should be viewed from both a business and technical perspective. Though the corporate Portal Architecture can be technical in nature, process, business function and organization are affected. When proceeding with a portal initiative, it is very important to identify both business and technical impacts to the enterprise like –

  • What is the willingness of the organization to implement the Enterprise Information Portals?
  • What skills and expertise are required to successfully design, deploy and manage an Enterprise Information Portals?
  • What are the business problems that are identified and how will a portal provide solutions to them? Can a portal actually solve the business problems?
  • Can a portal leverage the existing infrastructure of the enterprise? What kind of enhancements will be required to successfully implement corporate portals?
  • How will organization react to the implementation of the portal strategy? What efforts will be necessary to create an environment of acceptance and adoption?
  • What all infrastructure and technical platform will be required?
  • Considerations on UI and Usability has to be taken to ensure consistency and user experience across enterprise applications.

Enterprise Information Portals will improve organizational effectiveness by bringing information management and access, collaboration and employee driven processes into the familiar environment where employee does their work every day. Employee can be benefited from the familiarity and consistency of a single environment for all their information that is easy to learn, use and personalize. This allows the employees to manage their work much more effectively and increase productivity across all departments.

The value of Enterprise Information Portals is intangible. Using the Enterprise Information Portals, knowledge can be shared and expanded and communication will be improved. There is great potential in such corporate portals, but to be successful, there are many challenges to be faced.

Achievable business objective has to be defined, target audience has to be identified and understood. Additionally expert knowledge, identifying the right stakeholders and well laid out portal architecture is essential for the success. If enterprises are able to manage all the challenges Enterprise Information Portals will become integral part of their operation and corporate culture.

Contact us today or call 1-877-RISHABH (1-877-747-4224) to learn more about how our enterprise portal development services can help you integrate information, people and processes across organizational boundaries.

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