Digital Workplace Insights

What is the best Intranet software?

When you ask yourself what are the best airlines to fly with, a few brand names will come to mind. The same goes for the best cars, the best wine and so on. So what about the best Intranet software?

If you peer into most organizations around the world, you’re likely to find products like SharePoint being used as the Intranet. But is it necessarily the best Intranet software? The important question to be asking is what is the best Intranet for us?

While SharePoint could be viewed as the General Motors of the Intranet landscape, the world has many car manufacturers all offering both general purpose and highly tailored products designed around meeting your needs and budget. If you were to ask ten people in the street what is the best car in the world?, you could potentially get ten different answers. The same goes for Intranet software. There are great products, good products and very average products. A lot of them are designed to meet the majority of everyday needs, and then it can become very specialized from that point onwards. Determine what is the best Intranet for your organization and creating an Intranet checklist can be defined through the following.

Does it meet your needs?

Before you listen to what vendors say, it’s best practice to sit down with your team and discuss what is going to be important for your organization. The outcome of this process will be a list of your requirements. It’s also essential to understand that most Intranet solutions will meet all of your general needs (the core features and functionality you want in an Intranet), so consider thinking beyond the core features and determining what is going to be bespoke to your organization. Do you have specific workflows that you want to manage through the Intranet? Are there unique document management tasks you want to accomplish? Would it be beneficial if the Intranet integrated with existing applications within your environment? A well-considered list of requirements will ensure you identify the best Intranet product that will meet your needs.

Ultimately, the best Intranet software for your organization is what makes the most sense in meeting your requirements, the readiness and capability of your team, and what solution will comfortably fit within your timeframes for implementation and your budget.

Is it easy for your staff to use?

User adoption of the Intranet is critical. Not only from an information delivery viewpoint, but from a user experience perspective as well. How intuitive the new Intranet will be for staff to navigate, discover and search for content will determine if staff keep coming back. When it comes to Intranet content authoring, how intuitive is the platform for non-technical business users to perform authoring tasks? Is creating a page and publishing new web content to the Intranet a complex process? How long will it take to upload a hundred new documents? A couple of minutes, or hours? If you’re looking for the best Intranet solution, then it will be those tools that have considered all of these things and more, and provide an authoring experience that is intuitive and easy to use for staff.

What are the ongoing expectations?

A successful Intranet is never really finished. While there is a start, middle and an end to the software implementation itself, all Intranet sites require ongoing management and maintenance. When Intranets are done right, they quickly become highly accessed and valued tools for staff across the organization. Determining the best Intranet software is also about determining the best people within your team to ensure the health of the new Intranet is maintained, and that staff are gaining what they need from the solution. Often the best Intranets are those that can provide an answer to some of the more complex requests that staff will ask; can the Intranet replace how we currently use a spreadsheet and email? Can we push data into the Intranet from this system? Can we allow staff to create their own project areas? The more these questions are answered over time will determine if you have the best Intranet for your needs.   

Ultimately, the best Intranet software for your organization is what makes the most sense in meeting your requirements, the readiness and capability of your team, and what solution will comfortably fit within your timeframes for implementation and your budget.

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