If you have already started on an intranet project you may have begun to think about the advantages an intranet can deliver to your business. In this blog post I’m going to highlight my top 5 ways in which it can and should positively impact your organisation. If you want to explore this further, join us at one of our Showcases.
The intranet is a tool that has the ability to impact your whole organisation. Unlike a website it knows who you are, which department you belong to and may even understand the actions you need to take to achieve your objectives. With these insights it can add value in ways you may not have even imagined when you first started the project. Yes there may be a specific aim or challenge that you need the intranet to help overcome but as your intranet grows, different employees will gain advantages in different ways.
Top 5 Intranet Advantages:
1) Connecting employees
The intranet delivers a way for employees to connect with each other and with the business. Remote workers can access the intranet and see what others are doing as well as share information and insights they with others.
The intranet has many features that connect employees, a few examples of this are:
- A searchable contacts directory - helps people get to know their colleagues interests or skills.
- Contact buttons - find out who and contact the author of a given article, a helpful way for employees to begin a dialog with people in the business whose views they find interesting.
2) Collaborative working
An intranet should provide an environment where collaboration is encouraged, nurtured and managed. At a basic level the intranet helps connect individuals together to begin sharing knowledge and working together, it then facilitates collaboration through applications and social tools such as microblogs and commenting.
A benefit of intranet collaboration is that it can be captured, stored and revisited later. Document management provides an audit trail of changes that have been made between revisions so that employees can work together to get the job done. Some examples of great collaborative working are:
- Remote workers using the intranet to brainstorm problems or challenges with colleagues. This can then inform best practices for situations that may happen again.
- Providing team spaces where groups can coordinate work and share updates on group projects.
Intranets improve efficiency by saving your employees time and reducing wastage. It can save time by giving staff access to the information they need quicker as well as automating once manual processes. When we are looking to identify opportunities for the intranet to improve efficiency we often try and find the spreadsheet. As a general rule, anytime when anyone keeps a spreadsheet to keep track of a task is a process that can be optimised.
The intranet also reduces wastage and can be as simple as centralising processes (such as stationary ordering). It does this by sharing information so that decisions can be made in full knowledge of the facts. This is one of the intranet advantages that can take a little longer to discover but is likely to deliver significant ROI.
4) Building and storing knowledge
A useful intranet advantage that is sometimes overlooked is that the intranet stores knowledge. Emails and documents that are floating around your originations network have a habit of getting lost especially when employees leave or hardware gets updated or replaced. Information that is buried away in inboxes or on shared drives is far from accessible to others that may benefit from this. The intranet provides a central place for you to store this content, it does so in a secure and searchable environment accessible to anyone that has permissions to do so.
5) Sharing information around the business
As a tool that can be accessible across your organisation the intranet is brilliant for connecting people with information. But to be effective the intranet needs to go a step further, it needs to connect people with information that is relevant to them. One of the ways we do this with our intranet software is through content targeting that places relevant content in front of the right people.
Connecting with your existing business systems you can also securely display information on your intranet that may be locked away in other tools. KPIs can be shared with management or department heads, metrics shared between teams or individual employee records pulled from your HR systems. Sharing information can happen at a more basic level too. The social functionality of your intranet helps staff share information they consider relevant to others.
The intranet advantages that I have listed here are just a few of the most prominent benefits your organisation could get from an intranet. It is likely that the intranet will impact your organisation in ways in which you haven’t event considered and are totally unique to you. Your intranet should be an organic tool that grows to suit your needs and requirements as they materialise.
The best intranets create an environment where the intranet responds to the requirements of the staff. Here at SORCE, we can help you discover how all of these (and more) can be achieved. Book a demo or join us at one of our Showcases.