Why your business probably needs an Intranet

Posted on Posted in Web Design, Web Development

Why your business probably needs an Intranet

When you think of an intranet – indeed, if you ever think about intranets – you probably think that the level of investment required is immense because of the complexity of the information it has to hold, distribute, and make searchable to and alterable by your staff. You may not quite see where an intranet would fit within your organisation or business because, at the moment, things seem to tick along nicely as they are, albeit with the odd interruption.

 

It may be time to think again.

 

For those who aren’t sure, an intranet is a private version of the internet available to your board, your staff, and any other stakeholders you wish to include (like contractors). Your intranet is a living, breathing database which constantly reflects your business through how your people use it. It has the capability contained within it to create major efficiency savings which, in turn, lead to a more profitable business better able to cope with the demands placed on it by workload, customers, and suppliers.

An intranet is, today, much more than a set of documents that staff can access via their desktops or mobile devices. It’s a tool which allows companies to grow, to manage change, to enable better internal communications, to engage employees, to foster productive collaboration, to protect company documentation, to increase sales, and to connect with staff and other stakeholders at all levels.

The 22PointSix team have significant experience in creating bespoke intranets for clients large and small in the public and private sectors. When building an intranet, which aspects of it do we tailor-make to improve your business or organisation?

Employee dashboards

It’s 9am in the morning (or whatever time your shift patterns start). Your employee sits down at his or her desk and, when they start up their computer, they see their own personalised dashboard reminding them of the projects they’re currently involved in, what they’ll be working on soon, and the tasks they’ve successfully completed in the past. Gone from the desk are endless notepads and Post-It notes. They’re not needed anymore. Their workload and their days are managed by their interaction with the intranet and the workloads on display adapt and change according to the progress they’re making on the tasks they’re involved with.

As team members use the intranet more and more, it can start to predict better the exact type of information a staff member is likely to need. As well as making suggestions via their dashboard as to the knowledge they’re likely to benefit from, users can also tag the features and the files they use the most via their own dashboard including the people and groups they’re most likely to need to stay in touch with.

The intranet is for everyone – staff members based permanently within your premises and staff members on the road visiting clients and suppliers have ready and available access to it on the move with the mobile intranet. And your company’s mobile intranet is just as functional and easy-to-use as the desktop iteration.

Want help from an experienced member of the team? Employees can be tagged by area of expertise meaning that it’s easy for users to get the information they need from the right people quickly and efficiently.

Information retrieval and document sharing

As your organisation develops and grows, more and more records and supporting documentation will be created to aid in its successful and efficient running. Prior to the introduction of an intranet, information tends to be held by specific people or within specific departments. Getting access to that information is time-consuming and difficult for those members of staff who need that information now.
Using the sophisticated search technology built into your intranet, documentation becomes immediately retrievable, even in situations where the information may not yet be well-tagged and -categorised. The order in which the information is listed will change over time as your intranet highlights the content that most employees access and find of the greatest benefit – employees can even assign ratings and leave comments to help other colleagues. Information retrievable by staff members could be internal documentation, HR information, customer order history – whatever you want it to be. But how do you protect your business’s most important information from being seen by the wrong people?

Administrative advantages

As part of the installation and deployment of your intranet, you can assign each user with access to certain areas and types of documentation and bar them from others simply via an easy-to-use platform. Changing access permissions per staff member and by documentation type is easy and both can be amended via an easy-to-use control panel.

Create productive communities

Communication is the key to the successful running of a business – whether it’s handling a customer service issue or working on an internal research and development project. Intranets can be used to create communities (and connect them to other communities) to collaborate on an ongoing basis or for a specific project. Project managers can track the ongoing development of a project as well as use the intranet to drill back down into its history to find out why a project is progressing in the way that it is, particularly if a change of course is needed.
Communities can be created in the same geographical space in the office or across a much wider area, connecting staff from other offices or staff who are working from home. Within each community, news streams, RSS feeds, calendars, document repositories, and more can be organised to enable an optimal environment for collaboration.

Like a control panel for your company

There are plenty of intranet software packages available to buy but, without specific personalisation and customisation to your business and its activities, the amount of value it will deliver to your practices and processes will be limited.

22PointSix design intranets that, over time, change to reflect the changes to your business and organisation. They deliver real efficiencies and cost savings and, best of all, they give you the information you need to make better management decisions. Call our business development team on 0330 332 3022 or email us today.

Find out what we can do for you