How not to implement your enterprise portals

Enterprise portals have been credited with reducing IT infrastructure, substituting online less expensive self-service for call centre reps, and providing faster executive communication to staff, according to Forrester Research. But, enterprise portal implementations have been known to miss deadlines, exceed budgets, be ignored by users or fail completely, warns the Cambridge, Mass., research firm.

The November brief Five ways to spoil your enterprise portal authored by Nate L.Root with Laurie Orlov, Laura Ramos and Ryan Hudson, includes these insights on what not to do.

Expect technology to change culture. The hard part of implementing isn’t deploying technology.

Get started first, worry about metrics later. Skip upfront metric design even though your business case will fall apart under executive scrutiny.

Let programmers design the user interface. If users can’t find what they need, they’ll give up or call the help desk. Either way, it decreases ROI.

Let a single group set priorities. Your site will please a limited audience or require users to navigate around low-value content to reach the content and apps they really need.

Stick IT with the bill. Although most of the benefits hit balance sheets in departments other than IT, many firms force IT to pay the tab for software, services and support. IT is motivated to get the portal up and running as cheaply as possible.

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