Lau H Andreasen

Should the intranet be like an app store?

by Lau Hesselbæk Andreasen
October 7, 2014
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Comments: 1 Comment

You have worked hard and developed a number of useful features, cool applications and smart solutions for your intranet; an application for entering travel expenses, a personalized news-widget, a fantastic people-finder and many more. But do your colleagues around the organisation know where on the intranet to go for what? Do they know which applications solve which tasks and how they use the various tools to work more effectively?

Most intranet managers are frustrated when they conduct user surveys and find that their colleagues simply don’t know which tools to use for what and where to find them. They spend endless hours trying to come up with the perfect navigation and the most logical menu structure. But it rarely works.

The app store approach

Outside work, everyone with a smart phone manages to find and download the applications they need to execute the tasks they want on their devices. Would this be the answer on the intranet? Turn it into a “workplace app store” and let employees install the functionalities they need and nothing else? It would mean less noise and clutter on everyone’s homepages – but would also mean that some employees might miss out functionalities and features that could be very useful for them.

Intranet and collaboration project manager at Swiss luxury goods company, Richemont, Neil Morgan, made a radical change in 2012 and took the app store approach and used it to help promoting and distributing intranet and collaborations solutions throughout the group. He talked about this in his presentation “The store is open”

So has it worked? Neil returns to Aarhus, Denmark for the J. Boye Aarhus 14 conference, where we will discus approaches to making the the intranet and digital workplace more useful for the employees. Is this approach clearer – or is it still a case of user confusion?

Have you found the perfect way of presenting your intranet functionalities?


Ellen van Aken October 10th, 2014 5:49

Hi Lau,
This concept appears to be gaining momentum. I have recently seen a few more hints that are pointing into the direction of a more app-based digital workplace. In an way it is logical to transplant the daily life reality of smartphone apps into work, but I also see many potential issues. I blogged about this too: . I am really sorry I can not be at the event – this talk alone sounds very interesting!