A company intranet is a tool used to streamline collaboration, share information and automate business tasks within a secure internal environment. However, selecting the right intranet to meet these goals within your organization can be a complex and time consuming process, if you don’t possess the right tools to assist you in your search.
At Intranet Connections we have worked with over 1600 intranet customers across a variety of industries for more than a decade. We have seen what works and what doesn’t, and have compiled a list of the top 10 resources and applications within an intranet that have the largest impact on improving the inner workings of your business.
Overall, an effective intranet should contain extensive features, be easy to use and engage your staff. Here are a few things to look for in an intranet to ensure you deploy the right solution for your business.
1) Simple Deployment & Ease-of-Use
IT Teams often have a variety of items on their plate at once and very little time to take on additional tasks, including spending hours, days or even months implementing a new intranet solution. An out-of-the-box intranet software which requires little to no IT resources to implement will greatly accelerate the deployment of your business intranet. Ease-of-use is a mission critical requirement for your intranet in order to engage your employees, encourage intranet adoption and maximize your intranet investment.
2) Smart Delegation & Simple Administration
Successful adoption of your intranet by your employees is key to its overall success. Simple Administration enables non-IT departments or groups of employees within your organization to create and manage their own site within the company intranet, empowering employees and encouraging intranet adoption.
An intranet site that is easy to administer and removes the requirement of involvement of IT for changes or updates increases the likelihood of employees embracing the intranet and making it part of their working tool set.
3) Quick Provisioning & On-boarding
A simple one-time login improves your intranet’s usability and will accelerate the adoption of the intranet within your company. Active Directory (AD) integration is a must: the ability to authenticate and authorize all the users of your intranet against your Active Directory domain is essential, allowing you to easily create and update users in your intranet.
4) Intelligent EForms, Workflows & Triggers
An effective intranet should improve and simplify workflows within your organization. Using your intranet to process common HR functions such as vacation requests, time sheets and expenses reports reduces the man hours spent on processing these routine functions. An intelligent eForm that will automatically route to the proper approval manager and that can trigger a request for additional information on unusual or excessive claims saves time and improves the efficiency of your internal processes.
5) Detailed Document Management & Security Permissioning
Your intranet should serve as your company’s central document repository. To be effective you should have the ability to set different permissions on documents and folders, such as restricting access to financial documents to your executive and finance teams. Version control is another important feature to have in your intranet – a check in, check out function that quickly indicates if a document has been updated or is in the process of being updated, will ensure that your employees are all working with the most current documents and information available to them. Additional features such as read confirmation, tests and surveys are also important to ensure that all employees have read and understood the documents necessary for their position.
6) Open Communications & Collaboration
Your intranet should play a key role in your company’s communications with its employees and should provide a platform for employees to share ideas and feedback. A valuable intranet should make it easy to create company blogs and share company news.
7) Intranet Mobility
In our current smartphone and tablet world your intranet must be accessible for users not just in the office, but on mobile as well. An Intranet that is accessible by mobile device enables your employees to access company documents and resources or provide updates and share information when travelling or working remotely.
8) Community/Department Development
To be successful, your intranet needs to be embraced by all the departments of your company. An intranet that allows each department to create and maintain their own site within your corporate intranet will encourage the rapid adoption of your intranet by employees. Your intranet solution should enable you to create and manage department, team and community sites.
9) Enterprise Search
In order to be truly effective, it is must be quick and easy for your employees to locate the information they need from your intranet. The solution you choose should include content tagging and search functions that makes it easier to find the right documents or employee contacts within your organization.
10) Social Engagement
The primary function of your intranet should be as a business tool, used to improve business processes within your company and increase organizational efficiency. However, adding social functions on your site can increase employee engagement and even expand and improve your corporate culture. Intranet social tools such as employee “walls”, chat functions and status updates; or sites within your intranet that promote different community or charitable events can create a sense of community with your employees, reinforce your corporate culture and values and can make your employees more engaged.
Selecting the right intranet software is no different than evaluating any other software application that you deploy in your business; determine the internal use case for the software, then find a software that meets those needs. Your corporate intranet can be a powerful tool to improve efficiency and productivity within your organization, promote your corporate company values and culture and make your employees feel empowered and part of a business community. By taking the time to assess and evaluate the functions and features of various intranet software you will maximize the return on your software investment.
At Intranet Connections we have woven each of these top 10 features into our business intranet software. Contact our Sales Team to request a free, personalized 20-minute demo and find out how Intranet Connections can help you to streamline collaboration, share information and automate business tasks within your company.