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Why is an intranet important?

What is an intranet?

With the term coined in 1994, intranets have been growing in popularity and capability for the past few decades. An intranet in essence is a private network in which enterprises may share information and documentation internally. This allows businesses to access and collaborate on content easily and reduce their risk of accidental document duplication. One of today’s leading intranet platforms, SharePoint, started from humble beginnings when first launched in 2001 and has seen 20 years of evolution, moving from what is now considered their legacy framework, SharePoint Classic, to the rich, dynamic, graphical and responsive user experience in Microsoft 365, SharePoint Modern.

What makes an intranet modern?

The most common aim for businesses now is to cultivate a modern intranet. But what is it exactly that makes an intranet ‘modern’? Let’s look at SharePoint as a key example. Classic SharePoint, now considered a legacy framework, often requires a new page to complete tasks and coding expertise to implement changes. In comparison, SharePoint Modern is mobile responsive, with real-time updates, in-page editing capabilities, seamless integration with other business applications, personalised search tools, and optimised list and library experiences. A modern intranet is easy to use and can be deployed in a matter of clicks.

Many tools, such as Powell Intranet and Valo, use SharePoint Modern as a foundation from which to build out-the-box intranet offerings that build upon and extend the existing capabilities of Microsoft’s intranet tool. These tools then offer additional capabilities to improve or benefit your intranet experience such as Powell’s gamification to engage users or Valo’s adoption analytics and multilingual capabilities to name but a few examples.

By cultivating an intranet that suits modern working styles and supports the integration of additional business tools, organisations can use their intranet seamlessly as part of a wider digital workspace. It is this flexibility and ease of use that empowers intranet users and makes an intranet truly modern.

Why is a modern intranet important?

Now that we’ve established what makes an intranet modern, why are modern intranets important? And why should businesses be investing in them?

Unite your organisation

A modern intranet offers a tool that is accessible anywhere, from any device, and can scale with your business, allowing you to unite your workers, no matter your business shape or size. With a clear, centralised hub for information all departments can support and optimise their operations. Using intranets built on SharePoint and Microsoft 365 also supports seamless integration with Microsoft’s business tools and the peace of mind that comes with Microsoft’s security, supporting a unification of not only people and data, but of processes too.

Support modern working styles

For many, the future of working is hybrid. After a long period of almost entirely remote working, many employees are starting to see the benefits of both at home and office-based work. Consequently, we’re seeing many companies begin to embrace hybrid working, satisfying employees’ desires for the best of both worlds and saving on office costs. This is where a modern intranet is greatly beneficial. The cloud-based nature of a modern intranet facilitates easy access to its content regardless of location or device, allowing employees to easily communicate, collaborate, and co-author in real-time safe in the knowledge that they are accessing a single source of truth. Additionally, intranet admins can easily share and pin important alerts, ensuring these reach all employees no matter their preferred working location.

Optimise departmental operations

Whilst an intranet facilitates much intra-enterprise and inter-departmental collaboration it also allows individual departments to simplify and optimise their operations. As a centralised company hub, an intranet offers HR departments the chance to foster a company culture and community as well as ensure employees have easy access to important policy information. For marketing teams, an intranet serves as an opportunity to align employees to the company brand, share resources with brand ambassadors and sales teams, and keep employees informed of any upcoming promotional activities or events. Sales teams can easily access information, discover key contacts, and streamline their business processes, supporting their sales win-rates. Finally, these benefits operate within a system that is simple for IT teams to deploy and manage, even as the organisation scales.

Make information accessible and engaging

The ability to update and edit a modern intranet in a matter of clicks means it is easier than ever to share information and respond to user feedback to keep your intranet useful and engaging. With the ability to implement interactive features such as gamification through Powell or idea portals through Valo, employee engagement can be actively encouraged and supported.

Why should I use an intranet if I have Microsoft Teams?

There’s no denying that Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool and one that has become the centre of many organisations’ daily operations. Teams offers a secure central platform for communication and collaboration, combining chat tools, video meetings, co-authoring capability, file storage and management, and third-party app integration. However, where Teams is a powerful platform for individual, project, and team sites, the content management and information architecture capabilities offered by an intranet are essential for larger departmental sites and corporate areas and portals. With tools such as Powell Teams or Valo Connect, the capabilities of your intranet and Teams platform can be easily integrated, allowing you to reap the benefits of both solutions.

Getting started

Whether you’re starting your intranet journey from scratch or looking to build on the capabilities of your existing intranet, Synergi can help. Our digital teamwork experts can support you in finding a solution that fits your needs and your budget.

Get in touch by calling 0191 4770365, emailing enquiries@teamsynergi.co.uk, or completing the form below.

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