How quickly does your company respond to business innovations? The truth is for many corporates, there are several layers of red tape to get through before the initiative is even put in front of the board for approval. Business agility, or an organization’s ability to respond quickly to external threats or opportunities, is an increasing trend. If you want to maintain a competitive edge, then it’s an issue that every corporate needs to address. And when it comes to implementing a modern intranet, larger organizations can certainly learn a thing or two from smaller, more agile companies. An out-of-the-box company intranet can work just as well for large corporates. Let’s find out why.
What Is A Corporate Intranet Platform?
A corporate intranet solution is a private internal website for employees. All the tools workers need to get stuff done are in one central location. From file sharing and task management to collaboration tools and knowledge sharing, modern intranets are mission-critical for the digital workplace. Corporate intranets are perfect platforms for connecting employees with information, resources, and each other.
Nowadays, intranet software includes custom integrations. The platform offers a single entry point to all the enterprise apps your business uses. It could be CRM systems like Salesforce or Microsoft 365, and Google Workspace. No more juggling multiple tabs and passwords. Instead, company intranets are the go-to resource for just about everything.
Furthermore, a modern intranet solution also comes as an employee app. Mobile access is vital in the digital workplace. After all, over 86 percent of the world’s population owns a smartphone. And it’s no secret that we’re all addicted to our cell phones. A mobile app levels the playing field for remote employees and deskless workers and drives the all-round employee experience.
Do Companies Still Have Intranets?
The short answer is yes. Modern intranet solutions most definitely still have a place in today’s digital workplace.
Intranet software has been around now since the 1990s. And as a result, it’s often unfairly dismissed as old, clunky technology. However, since those early days, intranet software has come a long way. Modern intranet solutions are dynamic, flexible powerhouses that are fun to use and engage employees. And they boost productivity by supporting workers to get the job done more efficiently and effectively.
Corporate Intranet: Decision-Making Process
Now, the graphic above may be an exaggeration, but it has a ring of truth, right? Large businesses can make the mistake of spending big bucks on processes and procedures at the expense of action. They often follow the example of the image on the right with several steps and many hurdles to jump.
By comparison, smaller companies often innovate and respond to initiatives more quickly. They follow the example on the left – more individual autonomy and streamlined decision-making processes.
When it comes to implementing an intranet solution, big businesses can get weighed down in the process side of things. Consultations with internal stakeholders lead to long wish lists that morph into must-have requirements. The result is that expensive bespoke software development becomes the only solution. It doesn’t have to be like that.
Corporate Intranet: Cloud Solutions
Modern intranet software ticks all the right boxes for small and big organizations. Hundreds of businesses around the globe already use corporate intranet solutions. Super easy to set up and manage, they offer a range of business tools that can easily be customized to meet your requirements.
The secret is to concentrate on what internal pressure points the corporate intranet will address. Rather than focusing on features for the sake of it, instead, the emphasis is on the problems those tools will solve. It’s a much more agile and proactive way of doing things.
What Should A Company Intranet Include?
Many companies, including national and multi-national corporates, have implemented corporate cloud intranets in response to a range of organizational pain points. The top concerns include the following:
Even small to medium-sized enterprises with only a handful of employees experience problems with internal communications. And those issues are magnified in big corporates with hundreds of employees, often in different locations or even countries with multiple languages. Communicating with a colleague based several time zones away in Germany can be difficult. Add to this the flexible remote and hybrid teams that many corporates now have, and employee communication and company culture become real issues.
A corporate intranet can help address these problems. The right intranet software comes with a host of tools to enhance internal communications from one central location. If you want to power up employee communication, here are all the features your intranet platform needs.
Must-Have Internal Communication Tools
Company-wide News Feed
The news feature is the first thing that users see upon login. News feeds are vital for keeping employees engaged and on the same page. Updated regularly, it works much like social media news feeds, with bite-sized chunks of information and options to click for more detail. All workers receive the same, consistent company news. Furthermore, the corporate intranet automatically publishes information at an appropriate time regardless of the time zone in the location from which it’s posted. This is a significant advantage for corporates with staff in multiple sites.
Streamline communication with business IM. Communicate and share company news in real time. Use private or group chats to connect with the entire workforce, including remote workers. IM isn’t just about internal communications. It also helps streamline workflows. According to one survey, 70 percent of participants said it supported quicker response times and swifter decision-making.
Two-way Communication Channels
Good communication isn’t just a one-way street. Boost employee engagement by getting the entire company involved in the conversation. Interactive blogs, activity walls, IM, forums, and project spaces are must-have features for your intranet software.
Large companies have a wide range of information needs from an organization-wide to a local level. The corporate intranet can help manage those different needs and is the vehicle for all knowledge sharing. Here are the essential company intranet tools to support your information needs.
Essential Information Management Tools
Document Management Systems
The corporate intranet’s document management system means unlimited files and documents are quickly and easily shared internally and externally. What’s more, you can embed your favorite Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace files directly in intranet pages for greater convenience and enhanced team collaboration.
An intranet solution is also the primary source of organizational expertise and knowledge management. Critical business data such as product information, sales manuals, policies, and board minutes are held in a central database. The advanced search function means employees can easily find the information they’re after using a self-service approach. There’s no need to consult multiple colleagues in several departments to source that vital data. Furthermore, corporate intranets operate as the organization’s single source of truth. Workers are guaranteed to source all the latest data and updates.
Streamlined Business Processes
Faster, more efficient ways of getting things done are a top priority for any company. That’s what gives you an advantage over the competition. And it also impacts where it really counts – on your bottom line.
Mission-Critical Business Process Features
Intranet software is the perfect vehicle for introducing automated business processes across the entire workforce. And the tool for achieving this is the intranet’s in-built and customizable forms builder. Alternatively, you could use Google Workspace or Microsoft Office apps and embed forms directly on the intranet page.
Whether reporting on sales data, completing expense forms, or requesting vacations, intranet systems do away with paper and email systems. Intuitive and straightforward, the forms builder is customizable and ensures business processes are streamlined and standardized. Intranet software will even automatically route the completed form to the correct staff member.
Two heads are better than one, so the old saying goes. However, when employees work remotely, or in different locations, collaboration gets a whole lot harder. Good intranet software provides multiple collaborative channels, so your people can get on with joint working, whatever the location. Here are your must-have collaboration features.
Essential Team Collaboration Tools
This handy feature makes it easy for employees to identify internal knowledge and expertise. However, it’s not the directory of old with just a name and job title. Intranet-powered company directories showcase the employee’s current work projects, expert knowledge, and even their personality with a vibrant bio. It’s a mission-critical feature for any worker and especially for new employees.
Create secure, private spaces for specific groups or projects within the intranet platform. These forums allow staff to share insights, problem-solve, and track progress. Notifications and alerts ensure nothing is missed. Supported by dedicated # channels on IM, everything your people need to collaborate effectively is at their fingertips.
Everyone executive knows how critical employee engagement is to business success. It’s crucial to productivity and profitability. According to the data, companies with high rates of engaged employees are 21 percent more productive and 17 percent more profitable. And if that’s not enough, it also goes a long way to solving issues with recruitment, retention, and morale. Now you can use your intranet software to engage employees and create a vibrant company culture. Of course, several features we have already highlighted will also impact engagement. However, here are a few extras to ramp things up even more.
Must-Have Employee Engagement Features
Measure engagement and harvest feedback using the corporate intranet and the integrated survey tool. From annual engagement surveys to regular pulse checks, give workers a voice and discover what’s really important. Measure your progress to ensure you stay on track.
Use the company intranet to recognize employees and show appreciation for their hard work. Share employee success stories on the newsfeed, shoutout star workers on team chat, and share glowing customer testimonials. Doing so boosts morale and motivation. Plus, the all-round good vibes make a massive difference to company culture.
Support Learning And Development
Offer professional development opportunities in the digital workplace with access to training materials, webinars, podcasts, and videos on your intranet platform. And why not allow workers to track their achievements and goals? Not only will you benefit from increased engagement, but you’ll also have a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce.
Bonus Must-Have Tool: Smart Search
All your hard work will go to waste if your people can’t find what they need when they need it. Our final must-have feature is an advanced smart search. A state-of-the-art intranet search can instantly find information using tags, previews, and filtered results. Improve the employee experience with a search function that’s fit for purpose.
Cloud Corporate Intranet: The Agile Response
The chances are your organization’s pain points are similar to those faced by many others before you. And the great beauty of the corporate intranet is that it has been refined and revised in light of the experience of hundreds of other businesses. You get the full benefit of that combined knowledge and experience without needing to do all the hard work yourself. After all, there’s no point in reinventing the wheel.
Moreover, corporates, in particular, need to be aware of the genuine threat of shadow IT. Individuals or teams downloading their own software solutions without central oversight can lead to security and compatibility issues. The sooner you respond to those organizational pain points with tried and tested, easily implemented agile solutions, the better.
What is a corporate intranet platform?
It’s an internal social network and internal website all rolled into one. Under one virtual roof are all the apps employees need daily. Intranet software can be hosted on the company server. However, in today’s digital workplace, most companies opt for a cloud-hosted solution via third-party services. The best intranet software providers offer unlimited users and data storage powered by smart search.
What should a company intranet include?
Much depends on your specific requirements. However, the following features are essential:
- employee directory
- team chat
- surveys and quizzes
- automated forms and workflows
- document management and file sharing
What is an example of an intranet?
Check out MyHub’s intranet design examples for a comprehensive look at design templates. Use these to inspire your creative energies.
And if you’re after examples of intranet software in action, MyHub has an extensive collection of real-world case studies.
Is SharePoint an intranet?
The simple answer is yes. Microsoft SharePoint can be used to create intranet platforms. SharePoint integrates with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. So it’s great for collaboration, communication, and document management, especially if you are a Microsoft 365-powered business.
However, it’s not a complete solution in the way that purpose-built intranet software is. Microsoft SharePoint has its limitations. Many users complain about its complexity and poor UX. And it doesn’t integrate with Google Drive. So, if Google Workspace is your preference, SharePoint may not be the best option.
Check out our blog SharePoint Intranet: The Pros And Cons for a detailed discussion.
How do I create a corporate intranet?
Getting started can feel like a task worthy of Hercules, right? However, it doesn’t have to be that hard, especially if you follow our step-by-step beginners’ guide. We’ve broken the process down into five bite-sized chunks.
The best advice, though, is to take advantage of the free demos and trials many providers offer. There’s no substitute for test-driving the intranet platform before signing on the dotted line.
We’re a leading provider of cloud-hosted intranet software. Super easy to use, our intranet solution is used in companies of all sizes and industries worldwide. If you’re interested in learning more about the full power of a corporate intranet, contact the expert MyHub team. Sign up for a free demo or 14-day trial today.