When I meet with organisations, I tend to find that their decision to invest in a company intranet is something of a knee jerk reaction. Their biggest concern is addressing their existing business issues. This could be anything from changing working practices to encouraging collaborative working, improving engagement, communicating company news right through to locating documentation more easily.
Whatever the case, they aren’t looking any further than resolving the problems they are facing right now. With this in mind their choice of intranet software solution will be geared toward their immediate needs, possibly in the form of a boxed product.
This is all very well, but it can be quite a short sighted approach. Yes, they will gain a solution that is better than what they originally had, but because of the rigid nature of a boxed product, it won’t offer the flexibility to adapt in years to come. As staff and business needs change, the site will no longer fit their requirements and will need to be adapted or even replaced.
This is why I always advise potential clients on how a company intranet can continually evolve with the business, even if that is not a priority right now. Having an intranet that is built on a flexible platform may not make sense to them at the moment, but as their requirements change over time, they will have a site that can be adapted to grow with them.
Future proofing your company intranet is not only about ensuring your end users requirements are going to be continually met but also ensuring continual investment and support for your intranet. Many organisations secure one off funding for a new intranet but then struggle to secure additional funding.
How to future proof your company intranet:
- Take the time to fully understand your end user requirements and future direction of the business.
- Prioritise and phase developments. This will not only help you to manage your resources but also enable you to ensure your intranet is robust and successfully meeting the needs of the business.
- Phased developments also enable you to demonstrate the continual budget investment needed and the benefits of doing so. It’s also a great way of keeping interest for your company intranet.
- Schedule bi-annual reviews whereby you evaluate your company intranet’s performance and identify and new developments that need to be scheduled in.
- Communicate with your end users and keep them up to date with developments and good news stories and invite feedback.
I hope you have found this useful. If you are reviewing your intranet and are keen to find out how other organisations achieved intranet success, download one of our case studies or attend a Showcase event.