Why invest in a modern intranet solution?

Why invest
in a modern

invest in a modern

The modern intranet has become a digital gateway for companies.

The emergence of modern intranets has drastically changed the way businesses operate. Today, AI-enabled technologies empower users to communicate and share information via flexible and highly performant intranet ecosystems. According to Gallup, employee engagement substantially impacts the company’s performance especially during economic recessions, with only 36% of US employees reporting they are committed to their work and workplace. Although this number depends upon various factors, it shows the universal need to use advanced communication tools to drive dedication and proactiveness within organizations. In this article, we will discuss how to set up a modern intranet that improves employee engagement and brings communication to a new level.

What is a modern enterprise intranet?

A modern enterprise intranet is a central hub for all internal communication and collaboration within a company. It improves employee productivity and engagement by providing a one-stop shop for all the information and tools employees need to accomplish their goals. Today, intranets are typically cloud-based and mobile-friendly. They enable access to a variety of internal resources, such as company news, policies and procedures, employee directories, and other information that is relevant to the day-to-day operations of the organization.

For example, Microsoft SharePoint’s intelligent intranet, which comes as a part of the Microsoft 365 platform, offers a rich set of features that helps users stay productive. It includes support for document collaboration, task management, and customizable social networking homepages. Additionally, Microsoft SharePoint makes it possible to interact primarily through SharePoint sites and community portals, access personalized news and content targeted to specific audiences, as well as accumulate the collective knowledge of its current users. Its intelligent design strives for simplicity and longevity, which serves as one of the main benefits of an intranet today.

Discover how Avenga optimized a custom SharePoint system for the largest producer and retailer of tobacco and smoke-free products, empowering the company’s digital transformation. [Success story]

Thinking about modern intelligent vs. the traditional intranet

Traditionally, intranets were used as a way for employees to share information and resources within a company. However, modern intranets are much more sophisticated and serve as a way for companies to easily connect with their employees. Intelligent intranets leverage the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to provide users with personalized content and highly accurate recommendations. They also deploy Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand user queries and provide relevant search results.

There are a few key reasons why modern intranets are better than their traditional versions:

  • Better collaboration and communication. Modern intranets present dynamic sites and pages that are mobile-ready, in such a way that encourages employees to interact freely. They serve as flexible platforms that are highly adaptive to the changing needs of your organization.
  • Enhanced employee productivity. Modern intranets are designed to be more performant and visually appealing, empowering users to easily acquire the necessary information. This characteristic reduces the learning curve and helps employees stay more dedicated and productive.
  • Improved organizational efficiency. Modern intranets enable organizations to streamline processes and make it easier for employees to cooperate and share knowledge. As a result, companies can raise their competitive edge and become more efficient at repetitive mundane tasks.
  • Greater security and control. In contrast to its traditional counterparts, modern intranets offer a wide range of tools for administering access to information. They protect the organization’s sensitive data by specifying the limits of sharing and permissions in the environment.
  • Increased flexibility. Modern intranets are often cloud-based, which gives employees the flexibility to access services regardless of their location. Over the years, it has become clear that this adaptiveness is necessary for remote working.

Although the reputation of intranets was pretty rusty, the implementation of new technologies are making businesses re-evaluate their communication ecosystems. Whether you are just adopting a new intranet solution from scratch or planning to transfer your data to a better version of a communication environment, it has never been easier to share content and store files in a centralized place.

What does the intranet lifecycle look like?

As an organization’s nervous system, the intranet has a distinct lifecycle that shapes its functioning from planning to archiving. Although the development of a communication environment plays a central role in its future effectiveness, operation and maintenance are just as critical. Below are four primary elements of the intranet’s lifecycle that can guide your business on the path towards a better communication environment:

  1. Planning and design. In the beginning, the organization’s intranet team works with stakeholders to identify the goals and requirements for the intranet. This phase also includes creating a prototype or mock-up of the intranet.
  2. Development and rollout. At this stage, the intranet team builds and tests the intranet. Once the intranet is ready, it is presented to the employees.
  3. Operation and maintenance. The content management team monitors and maintains the intranet, publishing updates and notifying subscribers about the latest developments in the organization. In this stage, one of the core responsibilities is to keep the intranet up-to-date and responsive to employee needs.
  4. Adaptation to new requirements. After deciding that the intranet is no longer viable, the organization sunsets the intranet. It is typically linked to the launch of its newer and more modern version. Additionally, this phase includes the archiving of all the content from the intranet.

Given these development stages, you can adopt a more responsive approach to your intranet, making the best of cutting-edge technologies. But, great changes call for great planning strategies, which also require companies to re-imagine their internal communications. So, how can your business ensure the productiveness of the intelligent intranet?

Explore options for tapping into the full potential of Microsoft 365 and learn how to reimagine your business with this multifaceted solution. [Read an article]

How do you plan an intelligent intranet?

The intelligent intranet should allow quick and easy access to information, promoting engagement and collaboration. Here are some of the basic steps on the road to creating a flexible and responsive intranet:

  1. Understand your key organizational priorities. What are the most important goals and objectives of your organization? What are the most pressing issues that need to be addressed? Bringing these priorities into the spotlight will help you determine what content and features should be included in your intranet.
  2. Know your audience. Who exactly are the users of your intranet? What are their individual or departmental needs and expectations? What types of content and features will they find most relevant? Ensure that your organization comprehends how to meet the users’ needs and create informative content within the chosen time frames.
  3. Plan the governance. Who will be responsible for managing and maintaining your intranet? What policies and procedures will be implemented to guarantee that it is used effectively? Governance is key to the future performance of your intelligent intranet as it sets up permissions and roles, and ensures that users have the necessary access to the content.
  4. Review your current intranet. If you already have an intranet, take a close look at its information architecture. Identify what works well and what could be improved among all its elements, including navigation, search, site hierarchy, taxonomy, and security. This approach will help you to determine what transformations can positively impact your future communication environment.
  5. Identify and prioritize your business initiatives. What business initiatives does your organization strive to support? What are the most crucial goals that need to be achieved? The analysis of your upcoming perspectives will crystalize the content and features that will in turn be the core of your new intranet.
  6. Launch the pilot and engage with your users. Once you have prioritized your organizational goals and understood how to manage content, work on the intranet information architecture so you can build communication and team sites. Then, solicit employee feedback to further refine your intranet’s content and features.

Ultimately, your intranet adoption strategy will rely upon the tool of your choice. As Microsoft SharePoint is a classic example of an intelligent intranet with multifaceted capabilities, let’s take a closer look at how to effortlessly upgrade your communication ecosystem with it.

How do you set up your Microsoft SharePoint intranet?

Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that allows organizations to create an intranet for document sharing, collaboration, and communication. SharePoint offers the ability to create and manage document libraries, web pages, and lists of items. It also empowers users to customize the site’s look and extend the intranet’s functionality using third-party add-ons. SharePoint provides organizations with a cost-effective way to set up and maintain an intranet, and its flexibility and scalability make it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes.

Assuming you have a comprehensive plan for your intranet, how do you implement it with the help of SharePoint?

  1. Choose a SharePoint template. SharePoint offers several out-of-the-box intranet templates to choose from, or you can create a custom solution serving your business goals.
  2. Build out your intranet sites and pages. Add text, images, documents, and other content to your intranet pages.
  3. Customize the look and feel of your intranet. Change the color scheme, branding, and navigation to match your company’s style.
  4. Configure security and permissions. Set up user groups and decide who will access different types of content.
  5. Promote your intranet to users. Make sure everyone knows about your new intranet and how to access it.
  6. Guarantee continuous maintenance. Be prepared to iterate and improve your intranet over time as your organization’s needs evolve.

By creating an intranet in SharePoint, businesses can centralize information and make it easier for employees to find the content they need. Additionally, the core advantages of SharePoint are adaptable designs and access to features like audience targeting, news, the Highlighted Content web part, and the My Feed web part, which ensures a personalized experience.

Explore options for tapping into the full potential of Microsoft 365 and learn how to reimagine your business with this multifaceted solution. [Success story]

Closing remarks

An intelligent intranet is a powerful business tool for uniting employees over shared values. Harnessing the collective knowledge of an organization, it enhances decision-making, improves communication and collaboration, and promotes a greater sense of engagement. When used effectively, the intelligent intranet can raise your competitive edge and transform your business culture, fostering a sense of community and creating a personalized employee experience. In the future, we can expect that intranets will become increasingly mobile-friendly and user-centric in order to meet the demands of today’s workforce. Additionally, intranets are predicted to play a more critical role in organizational communications and collaboration, and become more integrated with other business applications and systems.

Interested in discovering more about the potential of modern intranets? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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