One of my clients has been battling with a real hot potato of an issue. The company’s Intranet is dying under the strain of old technology and the burden of increasingly weighty files that it was never designed to cope with. Added to this, there is no ownership so files that have been obsolete for years are still sitting on the system taking up space. The system is glitchy at best but no-one is willing to take the job on and worst still people are setting up their own filing systems and by-passing their Intranet.
If your company’s Intranet is getting by on a wing and a prayer and a large amount of ‘let’s keep our fingers crossed’ then this post is for you.
By definition …
“An Intranet allows employees to communicate,
search and share company information via a web browser”
An Intranet can be a valuable and effective business tool for an organisation. It can be a strategic asset that supports key business processes, improvements in efficiency as well as greater staff and customer satisfaction.
Over the past few decades Intranets have evolved significantly. Their increasing popularity in companies worldwide can be attributed to the Intranet’s ability to bring tangible benefits to all by increasing efficiency and cutting costs.
Nowadays, Intranets are far more than just a communication tool. Today’s solutions are increasingly seen as broader productivity tools that include more process specific business applications and management tools. It is important that when planning your Intranet you aim to develop a user centric Intranet that not only provides employees with an indispensable tool to share information, manage knowledge and disseminate news but also equips them with access to business applications and management tools to further increase efficiency.
All too often corporate Intranets have difficult navigation schemes, unwieldy search results, are difficult to maintain and update resulting in information that is out of date, or as mentioned earlier, no ownership. This confuses and frustrates users who soon lose confidence and usage falls away (as demonstrated by my client’s company).
A useful Intranet requires an appealing, easy to use interface, integrating applications with appropriate security features, the ability to integrate new applications easily, documentation that provides help for users and applications that can be easily maintained and upgraded.
Even from a new employee perspective, if you walked into an organisation and they said ‘ here you will find everything you need to know about our company, our processes, our resources and our people’ – compared to – ‘this is the company Intranet – it’s got issues – don’t go near it or it will break’ – I’m pretty sure you already know which company you want to work for!
Plan a revolution
A well planned and thought out Intranet can revolutionise the way your company does business. It can certainly change the way your employees interact and positively impact all your business processes resulting in measurable business savings amongst the many other benefits.
Intranets give companies the power to manage in new ways. But taking advantage of the opportunities requires shifting views within the organisation to manage knowledge and information flows. Creating an Intranet that achieves all of your company’s objectives and meets your business requirements is a complex task requiring a wide range of skills. That said, it is definitely worth the hard work up front.
If you would like information on how to plan, develop and deploy your corporate Intranet please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.