Meeker Report 2015: What it means for intranets, digital workplace and communications

Digital doyenne Mary Meeker released the 2015 edition of her much anticipated report yesterday (27 May) and the Intranetizen team have been through the detail to interpret how the trends highlighted may affect your intranet and digital workplace.

Mobile is showing incredible growth

The staggering growth in smartphone use shows no immediate signs of decline according to Meeker and it’s a trend, with implications, that we need to be mindful of in our corporate roles. At the end of 2014, there were over 7bn mobile subscriptions with a 69% growth in mobile data in the last year. In short, people have more phones and are consuming a lot more data. Our headlines and implications:

  • 7bn connections – One for every person on the planet: This will mean that many employees will be carrying multiple devices. You’ll need to plan for this. Content and services need to work on all devices
  • 29% of all video is now in portrait format: In 2010, this was only 5% and the rise in this format is due to the mobile phone. So why is nearly all corporate video in landscape? Get ready to change.
  • 50% of the 5.6 hours per day on the internet will be on mobile: Folks like using smartphones! Mobile now accounts for more than half of our internet time so if your intranet or other digital workplace tools are not mobile enabled, you’re missing a trick.

Millennials in the majority

In her previous reports, Meeker has researched internet trends amongst millennials and presented them almost as opportunities for businesses to prepare for, but by the end of this year, Meeker notes that millennials (age 15-35) will become the predominant demographic in the workplace. With millennials in the majority, their needs and wishes become the immediate challenge to business, as well as the visionary future.

The top two workplace desires for millennials were:

  1. Training and Development: We need to ensure that our digital workplace is geared up to deliver structured and self-learning opportunities. Does yours do this now?
  2. Flexible Working Hours: This is an expectation. Your digital workplace needs to be available inside and outside the office because your employees want it and expect it. You need to have ubiquitous access.

Our other headlines and implications:

  • 20% consider themselves ‘night owls’: Does your company facilitate that level of flexible working?
  • 34% prefer online collaboration: This is an interesting statistic as, turned around the other way, 66% of millennials prefer off-line collaboration. Provide the routes to collaborate online as it’s firmly in growth.
  • 45% use personal phones for work: Think about the applications you create. Personal phones may not be able to download bespoke tools that are only available on corporate ‘app stores’. Further, if you’re providing tools for the corporate mobile OS, you may be excluding employees who are choosing to use their personal devices.
  • 39% will download apps on their own budget to do work: In my own definition of the digital workplace (and we at Intranetizen all have different definitions), I talk about the dual focus of company-provided and employee-sourced tools and here is growing evidence on this trend. Are your IT teams open to this reality? Are you geared up to support employees through this patchwork? Your employees will use Slack, Domo, Intercom or even SnapChat to get the job done. Embrace it, you’ve little choice. [Edit: I *think* I’ve spotted an error in the Meeker report! It notes that 41% are ‘likely’ to download whereas, in fact, the source report says that 41% are ‘extremely unlikely’ with 39% either ‘very or somewhat’ likely to download. My stats reflect the primary source statistic. We’ve reported it]

Messaging and Notifications are vital

Of the top 10 apps used across the globe, 6 are messaging services – WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, Kaiko, Twitter and Messenger. We’re addicted to communication and connecting with others. With so many app choices, Meeker notes that there is no one-size fits all, with folks having a selection of messaging and notification tools for different purposes. So how do we reach our employees? Ah yes — a lengthy intranet news article. We don’t think it’s sensible and wait for them to come to us on your mobile-enabled intranet, we may need to go where they are and that means using non-corporate channels. It’s a whole new ball game.

Content is changing

In the five years since the Meeker report was first published, there has been considerable change in the content provided and the way it is consumed. As Meeker puts it “Users generating their content are re-creating their internet”. Here are our headlines and implications:

  • Video is big and getting bigger: Facebook and YouTube are each both serving up more than 4 billion videos per day with Facebook showing a 33% growth over the last 12 months. Video is huge in the consumer world, but appears to be a expensive and/or underused channel inside the enterprise. This is an opportunity
  • Written content is also growing: WattPad, which allows users to create and consume stories is showing a 48% growth year on year with a staggering 11bn minutes on the site per month. It’s not all about showy video! People like to read and write. Do you allow your employees to create content freely? User-generated content is still in growth and employees will the primary source of trusted news.

Have you read the report too? Let us know your thoughts.

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  1. Lisa

    Great article! Thanks for the insights! Wow, can’t believe those stats – very helpful in comms planning.

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