There’s no denying that staff have access to more technology than ever before. In the Microsoft productivity stack alone, users can choose from apps like Teams, Yammer, SharePoint, Delve, OneDrive, Outlook and Skype for Business.
Additionally, there’s other SaaS applications, legacy on-premises systems and other corporate platforms to navigate. Is it any wonder there’s confusion about which tools to use, and when to use them?
While all these technologies have a place, understanding how they fit into a broader technology ecosystem can be challenging.
The solution: a company-wide Intranet solution that ties your modern workplace together.
Your intranet: a universal toolkit for empowering staff to work more productively
More than just a document repository, a well-designed and maintained intranet portal helps employees make sense of the countless tools they need to work effectively.
Microsoft SharePoint, for example, isn’t just a stand-alone application. It brings together the best of Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud-based technologies for all staff.
By integrating applications in a single view, it provides:
SharePoint and Office 365 have over 100 million users for a reason. As one of the leading enterprise modern workplace platforms, SharePoint is proven to get results.
We prefer SharePoint for intranet solutions because it:
Here’s how Antares can help
We make intranet projects fast, hassle-free and easy. Our Microsoft certified consultants have years of experience handling all aspects of intranet portal requirements, design, implementation and maintenance.
We rescue failed SharePoint implementations, upgrade older deployments, enhance functionality and build high-performing intranet portals from scratch. Read more about our SharePoint work or contact us today.
At Antares, we leverage our #Space Intranet Solution to give organisations a “running start” when implementing a new corporate intranet. There is often no need to start from scratch. We deliver 100% functionality and 80% of your requirements at a 50% reduction in cost with #Space. Contact us to find out more today.
1. What are intranet systems and solutions?
Intranet systems and solutions are an internal private network designed to support the sharing of information and collaboration within an organisation. An intranet serves as a central platform for staff communication and encourages staff to share information, documents, and perform tasks in a streamlined manner.
An intranet is a software that’s built on top of a platform. Intranet software is available and enables organisations to purchase pre-packaged intranet solutions that provide secured communication networks which are only accessible by internal staff. Intranet software makes it easy to share important updates across an organisation, align tasks and promote a healthy work culture.
SharePoint is a platform with many building blocks that enables organisations to build an intranet on top of the platform. It is the most popular option for creating an intranet due to its accessibility (many organisations use O365), flexibility and integration capabilities with other Microsoft tools such as Microsoft Teams.
SharePoint as an intranet allows staff across an organisation to create collaborative workspaces, manage their documents in a central location, and streamline communications through both customised and templatised approaches.
Each organisation’s needs and requirements are different and unique. However, SharePoint Online has continuously reigned as the most popular intranet platform for organisations worldwide. There are many great out-of-the-box SharePoint designs and apps that organisations can use to quickly roll out a new intranet with the ability to also iterate over time and easily add new features.
SharePoint Online offers a flexible and scalable framework that enables organisations to extend the capabilities of the intranet according to their needs. SharePoint has always been a strong collaboration platform, which is further enhanced with its ability to integrate with the Microsoft O365 suite, bringing knowledge sharing and social networking to new heights.
Microsoft is also continuously investing in SharePoint, more recently introducing Modern Sites that includes many new features and capabilities. Modern Sites are a game changer with innovative designs, apps, and integration options for your intranet.
Whilst SharePoint is continually ranked highly by the likes of Gartner because of its strength and capabilities for intranets, there are alternative platforms outside of the Microsoft ecosystem that also delivers a comprehensive intranet solution. It is important that you understand your business requirements and compare the various platforms to determine which platform best fits your needs.
It’s very easy for organisations to get caught up with adding an abundance of features on their intranet – after all, the more the better, right? Not necessarily.
A long list of features and broad range of apps does not mean your intranet is meeting the needs of your people and acting as the company-wide “hub” for information as it should be. Below are the essential components you need to consider when building your company intranet:
Searching for files should be an easy task that can be done with only a few keywords. Effective search is essential to helping staff find what they’re looking for in an efficient manner.
A staff directory contains all the basic staff information, such as phone number, email address, and department. This feature provides a one-stop-shop for staff to look up their coworker’s details to easily connect and collaborate.
A document hub is a must-have intranet feature. Your staff need access to corporate, published documents such as policies, procedures, templates, and forms. A document hub brings this information together in a structured way that’s accessible to all staff throughout the business.
Recognition in the workplace is important as it delivers a sense of gratitude to staff. By providing features where individual and group achievements are recognised, you’ll not only re-enforce your organisational culture, but also increase staff motivation and satisfaction.
With mobile devices being the tool of choice for communication, it’s critical that your company intranet be accessible via mobile. The changing nature of work from traditional cubicles to remote working means that your intranet must be optimised for mobile so that tasks can be done on the go, just as they would on a desktop PC.
With constant changes in the technology landscape, it’s vital that your staff are supported with training resources that can help them grow and stay on top of changes and updates. By creating a training hub for videos, guides and documents in one place, your staff will know where to find all the relevant information to get their job done.
Intranets are valuable; they create a company-wide source of truth for news, alerts, events, documents and many other sources of information. Intranets unite an organisation and save staff significant time finding the information they need to do their job.
However, intranets are susceptible to security risks and data breaches. Below are several ways you can protect your company’s information on the intranet:
The vast majority of your staff won’t need access to every page of document on your intranet. A best practice approach to minimise the chances of exposing confidential information to unauthorised individuals is to restrict who can access certain types of information. By limiting accessibility, you’ll substantially reduce the possibility of both intentional and accidental data leakages.
Encryption can protect your data by transforming it into an unrecognisable format to unauthorised individuals. With encryption, you can rest assured that your organisation’s data is protected when transferred and shared with other individuals across the business (as well as with external users).
A company-wide policy can help establish rules for staff about how to use the intranet securely. Staff members should be educated on best practices to minimise the potential of data leakage, such as logging out of the system when not in use and not downloading copies of sensitive information. A well-set policy can reduce the chances of both external and internal threats exploiting both technical and process weaknesses.
Both platform and intranet software providers frequently issue new updates which can help combat emerging security risks and vulnerabilities. By keeping on top of these updates and habitually installing them as they are released (if not evergreen such as with SharePoint Online), organisations will be armed with the latest security protection.
Our team of highly skilled consultants specialise in delivering SharePoint solutions both in on-premise and Cloud environments as well as providing solutions around BI & Data Analytics, Custom Application, Mobility, Migration and Managed Services.