More often than not organizations are making choices about which intranet software to deploy based on a pressing business need. It might be that communications was an issue in the organization, perhaps it was simply a need to better manage and share documents, or maybe the motivator was a desire to automate business processes. Whatever it was that initially drove the company to select a particular intranet solution, the chances are that very little thought was given as to how that intranet solution might grow along with the business. And so before you make the same mistake as other businesses, read on to find out how you can future-proof your CMS intranet and maximize the return on your investment.
What Is Future-Proofing?
Future-proofing refers to a product or service that does not need to be updated in response to technological advances. In reality, nothing can be entirely future-proofed as no one can see into the future, but a CMS intranet represents a considerable company investment both in terms of time and resources. And there are steps that you can take to ensure that your CMS intranet remains robust and fit for purpose long after the initial purchase.
Set Up A CMS Intranet Project Team
Although you may already have a specific issue in mind, the chances are there are plenty of other organizational issues out there that you could be addressing if only you knew about them. Set up a project team with representation from across the business and a brief to come up with a wish list of needs and priorities. Time is always of the essence and this process doesn’t necessarily have to be a long drawn-out process. However, investing that little bit of time and effort at the planning stage could mean that you select a product that has flexibility and can grow with your organization rather than one that will quickly become a lame duck.
Consider The Future Direction Of The business
Gazing into the crystal ball is a notoriously difficult thing to do, but all businesses need to have some vision of where they are going and how they want to get there. It’s important that you take into account the anticipated future needs of your organization when selecting an intranet product. For example, will the intranet product be able to cope with the 35% increase in employees you expect to have in five years’ time? And what about your plans to expand operations to Europe? How would the intranet product evolve in response to different geographical locations and time zones, let alone employees with different languages? Taking the time now to carefully plan and map out your potential needs will pay dividends in future-proofing your CMS intranet.
Undertake Due Diligence
When there is a pressing organizational need it’s very tempting to rush into making a purchase of an off-the-shelf intranet product that appears to tick all the boxes. But is it really fit for purpose? Many an organization has made sometimes very expensive mistakes on software that didn’t quite do what it said on the box. Or they may have spent valuable dollars on a product that quickly became obsolete. Make sure that your do your homework. There are a great many offerings out there and most cloud intranet providers would be happy to demonstrate their product before you buy. This can be completed either through a shared screen tour, online demonstration or even a free trial. The possibilities, however, with other intranet products such as off-the-shelf or bespoke options are more limited. You could try and find other businesses that are using the boxed version though and ask for a product review. And if you are developing a bespoke intranet then make sure you include adequate testing and piloting in the development stage.
Set Up Regular Reviews
Once you’ve selected and implemented your CMS intranet solution don’t sit back on your proverbial and think that’s it, job’s done. Setting up a process for regular review is an essential part of ensuring that it is future-proofed. In addition, you’ll be maximizing your return on investment. Reviews should be taking place on at least a biannual basis with a brief to evaluate the CMS intranet’s performance and its continued fitness for purpose. What’s more, an important component of the review will be looking at any new developments or business needs that the intranet could be addressing. It’s important to remember though that the intranet needs to be working well from the perspective of end users and not just managers or senior executives. Ultimately it’s the end users that the intranet is there to serve and so include representatives in the review to really get the most out of the process. And don’t forget to feedback and update end users on what’s happening with the intranet.
Prioritize And Phase Developments
There’s no doubt that undertaking the review process will throw up some new initiatives and tasks in response to changing business needs that could be incorporated in the CMS intranet. Prioritizing and phasing in new developments will keep things manageable and will help you to better organize any necessary resources. In this way, the CMS intranet will continue to successfully meet the future of your business without blowing the budget or taking up too much time and staff resources. Let end users know what’s happening too so they’re kept in the loop and engaged with the intranet.
Cloud CMS Intranets: Flexible And Adaptable
The bottom line is that the intranet product you select as well as addressing your current needs should also allow sufficient flexibility so that you can adapt it as those needs change.
Cloud CMS intranets have that flexibility as well as a great core offering of powerful business modules and tools. Not only are these features tried and tested by a broad range of existing users from various industries, they are also constantly being updated in response to changing needs. As well as being easy to set up and manage, cloud intranet solutions are fully customizable using drag and drop functionality. They are also a very cost-effective solution if they provide unlimited users and data storage so the intranet can easily grow as you do. What’s more, cloud CMS intranets utilize the very latest online security features giving you complete confidence in the security and integrity of your company data.
If you are looking for a business management tool that is already future-proofed and offers a great return on investment, then contact us at MyHub today and take advantage of our free 14-day trial and demo.