When to move the intranet to a portal

Portals: are you ready to make the leap?. Shiv Singh has written an article exploring when to migrate to a portal for your intranet or extranet. To quote: For a business manager, choosing a portal package is not an easy decision. While the benefits for corporate IT departments… [Column Two]

This is a short, excellent article that can help you really think about whether or not you will get business value out of a portal implementation. One of my favorite tidbits:

Intranets and extranets built on portal platforms are less usable than regular websites. Most portal vendors limit how much the user interface can be customized to prevent the software from becoming buggy. As a result, most portal packages have user interfaces that are clunky, and relatively unusable for novice computer users.

Agreed. It is somewhat deflating after a large portal implementation, particularly if it is very content-centric, to take a step back and realize that millions of dollars and thousands of person-hours have essentially resulted in a web site that is difficult to maintain and use. Obviously, this anti-climactic feeling can subside if personalization can be leveraged, if applications can be integrated, and if user adoption flourishes, but organizations need to walk in to a portal implementation with their eyes open on this issue.

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