When implemented and maintained in the right way, intranets can improve business intelligence, streamline processes, and unlock more value from organisational data.
The problem is that many organisations don’t recognise their own intranet’s potential. By viewing their intranet solely as a place to store and retrieve documents, they fail to unlock its full business benefits, putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
Though your own experiences using your organisation’s out-of-date intranet may suggest otherwise, the future of the intranet is an exciting one. The modern intranet is more intuitive, collaborative and easy to access when you need it most.
The intranet has an image problem
Employees are rarely proud of their organisation’s intranet, which is unsurprising considering many are difficult to navigate and haven’t been updated in years. How many times have you accessed your work’s intranet only to discover that the document you’re searching for is eight versions out of date? Or even worse, multiple copies of the same document exist?
The next generation of workers expect to share, collaborate and view corporate information with the same ease as personal applications such as Facebook and Evernote. While the intranet can make this a reality, the belief that the intranet is just a document storage space (even the dictionary definition of ‘intranet’ suggests that its capabilities are reasonably limited) means few organisations have recognised this potential.
Unlocking the intranet’s potential
The best intranets are not places to see and find things; they are places to do things.
We expect organisations to start transforming their intranets into digital workspaces that merge social platforms, location-based services, and user-centric designs to create online environments that are relevant, useful and collaborative.
If they haven’t done so already, organisations will need to reposition their intranets as key communication, knowledge, and activity ecosystems that connect people, data and processes.
As a result, employees will be able to work smarter and more efficiently, organisational intelligence will improve, and teams will have real-time access to information, tasks, project information, and organisational content.
Keys to success
Getting the most value from the intranet isn’t as simple as replacing the old with the new. An organisation can invest in the best intranet on the market, but if it isn’t committed to keeping material current, accessible and relevant, the same issues will resurface again and again.
To ensure that your intranet is successful, it is important to:
- Allocate ownership
As with any technology investment, the intranet of the future needs to be owned and managed by the right people in your organisation. While your IT department should keep the lights on, responsibility for defining use cases is best managed by business groups.
- Integrate with other business applications
Unlike in days gone by, your organisation’s intranet should not be siloed from other applications. This means integrating with social collaboration tools and other business applications, ensuring that you get the most value from both your intranet and other technology investments.
- Don’t set and forget
When an organisation stops nurturing, innovating and investing in its intranet, its value diminishes. Even the most advanced intranets need to be reviewed and updated regularly.
The Modern Intranet is here. Is your organisation ready to revolutionise the way it generates, shares, and retains content?
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