6 Tips to Help Your Business Select the Best Intranet Solution
Running a successful business in today’s environment requires a high degree of efficiency, collaboration, and security. And while there are thousands of apps and tools on the market, a comprehensive intranet solution could be exactly what your organization needs to get ahead.
What is an Intranet?
An intranet is basically a private enterprise network that’s designed for the exclusive purpose of serving the organization by providing a fully integrated digital platform for internal collaboration.
The first intranets were created in the early 1990s, but wasn’t until the 2010s that they began incorporating social features and advanced elements that make it possible for individual users to have profiles and interact with other users in real-time.
Over the years, intranets have pivoted from primarily top-down communication to fully collaborative platforms that encourage organic engagement throughout each layer and department of the organization. Think of it like a centralized portal for sharing documents, ideas, and messages.
6 Tips for Choosing an Intranet
The rapid advancement of intranet technology has been fueled by increased competition and innovation in the space. While this is ultimately good news for teams that need intranets, it also creates challenges with determining how to proceed.
As you conduct your due diligence and compare options, here are some helpful tips that will allow you to choose the right fit for your organization.
Know the Different Types
Not all intranets are the same. They come in a variety of types and formats.
There are custom solutions and off-the-shelf solutions. But unless you have deep pockets and highly technical needs, paying a developer to create your very own custom solution isn’t affordable or necessary. Instead, you want to look for a cloud-based option that offers the flexibility to pick and choose the features you want to use.
Cloud based intranets are excellent alternatives to on-premise intranet software (which the organization actually purchases, owns, and hosts in their own data center).
As Happeo explains, “The provider hosts, manages and maintains the intranet software and the user pays for the licensing fee. With data stored in the cloud organizations are able to access their data at any time and from anywhere in the world.”
The easy setup and flexible pricing explain why so many of today’s leading organizations choose cloud-based options like Happeo.
Think about the vendors behind the platforms. It’s one thing to have an intranet solution with a bunch of bells and whistles, but is there a reliable and trustworthy support team working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly? This is something to consider as you evaluate different vendors.
Look for Attractive UI
Don’t ignore the importance of the user interface (UI). It might seem like a tiny detail, but the reality is that you want your team to use the intranet. And the easiest way to encourage them to adopt it with open arms is to give them something that’s aesthetically pleasing and highly intuitive.
UI might not be the most important element, but it’s certainly not the least. Consider it once you get further into the due diligence process and it may help separate two intranets that otherwise seem to be fairly equal.
Think About Integration
Unless you’re starting a business from scratch, your company already has numerous tools, processes, and workflows in place. The worst thing you can do is implement an intranet that’s incompatible with what you’re already doing.
Think about integration from the very start. (The goal of an enterprise intranet is to make things easier – not more complicated!) If it won’t work with 90 percent of the activities you carry out on a daily basis, it’s probably not the software for you.
Hopefully your business grows over time. And if it does, you need an intranet that grows with you. Avoid investing in a cookie-cutter solution that works now, but will no longer be as effective in two, three, or five years. Scalability is a must!
Collaborate With Your Team
Finally, involve your team in the decision. At the very least, you should form a team that consists of one representative from each department. This ensures everyone’s voice is heard and that nobody gets the raw end of the deal by being forced to use something that will negatively impact output.
Welcome to the New Age
Every intranet has slightly different features, interfaces, strengths, and weaknesses. As you compare different options, consider how each will impact your business both now and indefinitely. An intranet solution is an investment. Don’t commit until you’re ready.