Hosted Intranet Solutions: 5 Features and How to Make Them Work

Apr 8, 2016 | 0 comments

Hosted Intranet Solution Advantages

Hosted intranet solutions have a number of advantages for many businesses. When you first start thinking about an intranet solution, you may assume that you have to host it on-site. That’s going to require an enhanced tech team, plenty of space for servers, and a lot of maintenance and effort. A hosted intranet, however, may also have a number of other useful features that you haven’t considered. Such as intranet templates that have already been developed for you, a ready-made technical support team that already knows how to manage all of the common problems you might encounter, and you don’t have to dedicate physical space to it.

Feature #1: It’s Accessible From Anywhere

hosted-intranet-mobileYour employees don’t always do their work from their desks. They’re logging in from home on their laptops, taking work on the road with their tablets, and checking up on important facts from their smartphones. Mobile accessibility is one of the most important trends in intranet development. When you choose a hosted intranet, it’s much easier to make it available for your employees no matter what type of device they’re using. Whether they’re checking out important employee benefits information while sitting at home on the couch or looking up a key fact about a new contract in the middle of a vital meeting, promoting mobile accessibility is a great way to enhance intranet usage throughout your business.

If you want an accessible mobile intranet, there are several things that you should keep in mind.

  • Keep file sizes small, especially when they’re intended to be accessed from mobile devices.
  • Check your mobile search feature on a regular basis.
  • Be realistic in your use of graphics and videos, which may slow load times, and use them only when they’re beneficial.
  • Access the intranet from devices other than your computer on a regular basis to ensure streamlined use.
  • Keep an eye on security. If you keep confidential data on your intranet, you may need to be more careful about how access is granted to employees at various levels of the company. On the other hand, if you don’t store important data on the intranet, keeping the login process simple will help encourage intranet use.

Feature #2: You Don’t Need an IT Team

it-teamYour intranet can be managed by anyone in the company. When they have questions, they can access customer support through the cloud based intranet company. That support is also typically more detailed and responsive than what you’d get from an on-site IT team because the intranet support team has already dealt with the issues most commonly associated with any given intranet feature. They know their product inside and out, and they’ll be able to quickly take care of any issues you have along the way.

You might not need an IT team to help manage your intranet or keep up with the physical components, but there are a few things that will decrease the likelihood that your employees will require support.

  • Deploy the basic intranet structure and important features first. You can always add more features later.
  • Train your employees in how to use the intranet effectively. Make sure that the training encompasses every department and every ability level.
  • Regularly look for employee feedback to ensure that they understand how to use the intranet properly and that everything is in working order.

Feature #3: Hosted Intranets Are Simple Setup

cloud-hosted-intranetWhen you build an intranet from scratch, it can rapidly become a long, complicated process. You’ll either have to work with a team of IT professionals, hire someone to take care of your intranet needs, or develop some new skills fast. When you use a hosted intranet solution, the setup is simple. It’s as easy as walking through the ready-made templates and working through the setup process. There are modules already built and ready for you to fill in all the important details. Each feature is still designed to allow for full customization. You can fill in your logo, use your company colors, and add whatever information is necessary for your specific company, but the setup process is so easy that no IT experience is required.

When you can simply dive in and create your company’s intranet according to your desires, it’s difficult to keep yourself in check. Here’s a fun feature. Over there is another one. Pam down in accounting will love it if you add this feature. Before you know it, you don’t know what you have and what you don’t! To make a hosted intranet easier for you to create, try this:

  • Offer a poll to employees throughout your company to find out what features each department needs most.
  • Think about your reason for creating the intranet in the first place. Keep that at the forefront when making important decisions.
  • Work with a team to help create the best intranet possible. You’ll be able to help balance one another out.

Feature #4: Using Hosted Intranet Solutions for Document Storage

document-storageIf you’ve ever found yourself desperately searching for a key document, unsure where it’s stored or how you’re going to get your hands on it, your hosted company intranet will offer a great deal of hope. You’ll always know that you’re accessing the most recent centrally held version of a file. Even better, every employee will have access to important documents, whether they’re on the road, at home, or at work. Document accessibility is one of the greatest benefits of the intranet for many companies.

Document storage is great. To take it to the next level and make sure that it’s offering the greatest possible efficiency for everyone in your company, however, try a few key things.

  • Clear out unused documents regularly. Check to see when they were last accessed before deleting them, but if it’s no longer relevant, remove the document to help prevent confusion.
  • Store each document logically. Develop a storage and naming system that will make it easy for every employee to search for key documents.
  • Control access to sensitive data. Every employee doesn’t need access to every document, and controlling that access will keep sensitive or confidential information out of the wrong hands.

Feature #5: Built-In Intranet Security

hosted-intranet-securityWhen employees access the intranet, you want to be sure that they’re doing it safely and securely no matter where they are. There are several facets of security to take into consideration: who is able to access critical data, who has permission to make changes or store new information on the intranet, and what type of authentication is required before users can log in. By using a hosted intranet solutions, you get built-in security that can be customized according to the needs of your employees. In addition to an SSL connection that keeps that critical data secure, hosted intranets also provide user management and role groups to help set up the intranet for your needs.

You’ve got the security. Now, what are you going to do with it? Following a few guidelines will make it easier to set up the intranet according to your needs.

  • Decide who will be responsible for maintaining the intranet. From posting the company newsletter to managing forums, make it clear who has certain permissions and who doesn’t.
  • Determine which employees should have access to confidential information. Make sure that employees who don’t need that access are unable to view certain documents.
  • Double check your security. Try logging in as a user with limited privileges to see what they can see.  You’ll get a better idea of how tight your security is and any changes that you need to make.

A hosted intranet solution is a great way to balance the needs of your company with the difficulty and expense of creating a custom intranet solution. If you’re ready to start working on an intranet solution that will work for your company, contact us! We’ll help you look over the available features, figure out how they work, and develop the best intranet for your company.

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