Simple CMS Online Intranets Revolutionize Businesses
Online Content Management Systems (CMS) have revolutionized businesses. These innovative platforms empower everyone from small business owners and human resource managers through to marketing professionals and administrative assistants. They provide a simplified approach to managing online pages for both external extranet and internal intranet websites. An effective CMS provides a means for creating, editing and managing all your digital content and media. Users can painlessly set up new online pages without HTML coding knowledge. Because of its value and versatility, many companies opt for a CMS intranet. How do you find the best CMS intranet option for your organization? First, let’s touch on just how important a CMS intranet is.
The Power of An Effective CMS Intranet
Just because CMS intranets have grown in popularity doesn’t mean all are created equal. CMS Report lists “Seamless Content Management” on its list of “Top 10 Features Your Enterprise Intranet Can’t Do Without,” leading us to conclude that not all content management systems live up to the users’ expectations. Your intranet must be a valuable tool that employees can easily use and access. An intranet that is too complicated for non-technical people will discourage use and decrease engagement. Conversely, an intranet that is too simplistic, lacking business features and functionalities will also limit staff participation. Your CMS directly affects these factors. What do we mean? Consider some examples of the power of an effective CMS to manage your intranet.
- Human resource managers can create CMS-based training, managing all training resources in one place. Create and update training modules as often as necessary. Make them available remotely, so employees can participate at their leisure. Save money and time by limiting classroom-based training. It’s not surprising that CMS WiRE calls CMS Intranets and HR a “perfect match.”
- Marketing departments can have one place to track and management projects. Easily create new processes through the CMS platform. Connect to files, graphics, conversation threads and editing requests, all in one place. No more trying to e-mail large files. An effective CMS integrates perfectly with your marketing plan. Assign tasks, check their status and keep all parties “in the loop” at all times.
- Business owners can use their CMS-managed intranet to keep employees informed, give them mobile access to important documents, provide a platform for collaboration, and improve customer service through easy access. Entry-level employees can receive training to maintain, create and edit content. CMS offers the ultimate versatility. Business owners can log-in from any computer anywhere to make updates.
Simple CMS Online Page Creation
One of the main benefits of a simple vs. a complex CMS solution is that you can easily train non-development and non-IT staff to create online pages covering a range of business needs. Prior to CMS software being widely available, you needed to engage the services of a web developer/designer. They would create the online pages using HTML code and in most cases engage the services of a web/graphic designer. This more often than not also required the involvement of systems administrations staff who would provide the servers and manage permissions. Creating CMS online pages for products, events and even forms for simple business processes without the need to engage the services of a developer is a major benefit. Both the cost and time associated with delivering functionality to your company can be greatly reduced especially if you are using a cloud-based intranet solution such as MyHub. Of course, the quicker you can deliver what the business needs can mean additional cost savings, here’s some help if you need to convince your CEO that a cloud intranet is the best way to go.
How to Choose the Best CMS
Despite the enormous benefits of a CMS intranet, let’s get back to the fact that not all are created equal. It’s not a matter of one being “good” and one being “bad.” It’s a matter of what CMS fits your needs and that of your organization best. To help you wade through the plethora of available CMS intranets, we’ve compiled five tips to help you select the right one.
- Understand your problems. A CMS intranet is there to provide solutions. Don’t simply select the one with the fanciest features. First, compile a list of problems you want your intranet to solve. Conduct a needs analysis to understand the CMS requirements. Focus on your business needs, not CMS functionality since those performing the work probably have little knowledge of CMS functionality. For example, maybe you want staff to be able to request time off, submit their time sheets and complete employee evaluations via the intranet. Or, you may want to improve collaboration by creating a social intranet. Once your business needs are mapped out, a CMS intranet provider can match the functionality. However, beware of having too many “business needs.” Don’t blur the lines between “nice-to-haves” and necessities. Doing so will make the selection process more difficult.
- Be aware of CMS challenges. One of the biggest advantages of CMS software can also be one of the most significant challenges. We’re talking about control. CMS intranets allow content privileges to be given to numerous employees at any job level you choose. However, just because content can be added doesn’t always mean it should be. Someone still needs to monitor content to ensure it’s professionally formatted, in alignment with the company vision and is removed when it becomes obsolete. Maintaining order requires processes to be in place. Those processes become even more important when multiple employees are empowered to create and add content.
- Don’t assume bigger is better. Some organizations feel that if they are investing in a CMS intranet, they must go with the largest vendor with the most powerful and complex product. Maximize usability and mitigate risk by getting the simplest CMS that meets your identified business needs. Your intranet project will succeed because it is perceived as valuable by the users. Focus on the functionality that makes it most valuable. The point of an intranet is to streamline processes and increase productivity. Be sure you’re not adding so many features that those processes are now more complicated.
- Think carefully about your vendor. While identifying your needs is critical, matching those needs with a vendor is not quite as easy. There are a lot of CMS intranet providers out there with varying levels of service and product functionality. Picking a good partner goes beyond just providing the technology you need. What type of support do you need? What if you need customization? How long do they take to implement a new module? If you need it, do they provide strategic guidance? Are they aware of best practices in your industry? Another good indicator is to look at the vendor’s existing customer community. Do they have clients with similar goals and challenges? A cultural fit is just as important as the technological fit.
- Consider your budget. Any new endeavor is always governed by budget and return on investment. The good news is CMS intranet software is very affordable, and most vendors offer a free trial period. Test it out. Select a small group of power users to test functionality. However, when developing your budget, remember that price for CMS software often involves more than just the initial costs. Ask potential vendors for details about what the licensing fees really include. Are you limited in how many users you can have? Is there an additional annual fee? Do you have to pay for upgrades, troubleshooting, training or other technical support? There may be internal costs too. Can your processors support the CMS software? What about time and loss in productivity due to staff training and CMS adoption? If you need the CMS to integrate with another existing site or software, is there an additional fee to make that happen? Delve deep into the costs and balance it with the savings you’ll receive in the long run for the greatest return on your investment.
Consider your CMS intranet the heart of your content management strategy. An effective CMS empowers your staff, improves efficiency, increases productivity and decreases technology costs in the long run. The CMS you choose will touch every part of the organization whether it’s the handful of staff that actually create and edit content or the majority of employees that will view the content that is published. Talk to
Talk to MyHub Intranet Solutions Limited about an intranet solution for your organization. Getting started with your own cloud CMS intranet literally takes two minutes so why not try our Free Trial today.