Considering Out of the box Intranet software can be a practical way to achieve a modern and cost-effective Intranet for your organisation without the high price of building a custom-developed solution.
Intranets these days don’t need to be built by software developers; it can simply be a case of feeding an out of the box Intranet the right data about users, news and documents. It no longer requires the specialised skills of a developer to get your intranet up and running. It may not have exactly all the items on your wishlist, however it’s a fast, easy, and cheaper way to do things than build from the ground up.
So will an out of the box Intranet work for you team? For many small to medium businesses, the answer is yes. Let’s find out.
What’s your current Intranet situation?
You already have an aging Intranet
It's likely you'll have an aging Intranet - perhaps something like an on-site SharePoint implementation or web portal that’s looking decidedly long-in-the-tooth.
These outdated web portals and Intranets can not only be difficult or inefficient for employees to navigate, they can create work frustration which can directly influence employee dissatisfaction.
Aging Intranets may not be accessible off-site, are not mobile-responsive, and may be difficult for the team to update with the latest information. The level of personalisation supported probably extends only as far as the areas each member is allowed to access - if at all.
If this sounds like your workplace, then it’s time for an update.
You have fragmented systems, and not exactly an Intranet
You may just have a internal landing page with some linked information, a workplace shared drive, internal email and maybe an instant messaging system. An intranet can gather all these business resources in the one spot to help employees save time knowing where to find things, without having to ask Suzie over in the next office.
Is communication across the workplace more difficult than it should be?
How does your team communicate? Is it via email, walking down the hall to someone’s office, picking up the phone to call another location?
Now, have a think about how people communicate in real life.
“The main casualty of growing smartphone take-up has been traditional messaging (i.e. SMS), as users switch to more feature-rich internet-based messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and the messaging services offered on other social networking sites.”
“Falling call volumes are symptomatic of a fundamental change in people’s behaviour; web-based forms of communication are now the primary way in which many consumers use their mobile phones.”
(Source: Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2018)
Make your communications more like what your team already use at home. That’s apps, social media, and other web-based communication channels.
With the right out-of-box Intranet software, you have enterprise social networking built into your intranet. Workspaces allow teams to have group and private conversations, attach files, and communicate at work like they do in their personal lives. Likes, Comments, Tagging - it’s all there.
As with the CentricMinds accompanying native app (complete with push notifications), it’s exactly the type of communication that people have become accustomed to, which helps drive fluid collaboration and engagement within your workforce.
Is business information easy for staff to find?
Employees expect information at their fingertips. Like their personal lives, employees want to be able to find what they need to do their job quickly and easily.
If your Intranet is intuitive and easily navigable, with your complete staff resources all in the one spot, this will increase productivity, staff satisfaction with digital systems, and ultimately make an impact on your retention rates.
Using the CentricMinds out-of-the-box Intranet solution, you can have a personalized Intranet page and app, from which each user can easily find their workplace events calendar, news and other critical documents, team communications board/s, videos, plus access to their quick links, such as team directory, the document management system, HR functions, messaging and more.
With everything staff need to do work all in the one spot, it consolidates existing disparate systems - which can be big time wasters.
Is your business growing?
If your business is growing in locations, time zones, staff numbers, or client-load, you may be noticing the strain to existing systems.
Modern Intranets are built for scalability; with the business functions all users need available at a touch, plus user management and profile building made much more simple than it was in the past.
Your Intranet needs to have that scalability if you’re growing. And if your current systems are struggling to keep up with the growth your business is undergoing, then you need to switch over to something that can continue to grow with you.
An out of the box cloud-based Intranet solution supports 'work from anywhere'
Traditional Intranet solutions were always run and managed on in-house servers. These days, your modern Intranet lives in the cloud.
This means, with the right security measures in place, employees can have access to information they need while they’re out of the office, including communication, documents, work they can do on their transit, or even access to forms.
While companies may be nervous about making the switch to cloud-based systems, they offer enterprise security measures that may be impossible to achieve with on-site systems and teams.
Out of the box solutions save you time and money
The biggest upside to out of the box solutions is that they save money.
Custom-built software can be an expensive endeavour. Paying developers to build something just for you means a significant outlay. That’s why commercially ready and available products like CentricMinds are utilised even by big businesses - we count Kmart, Target and Sonic Health as some of our customers.
Out of the box solutions save time
Out of the box means ready to go. Versus a custom-built Intranet, this can save plenty of time that would be spent on development.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, your Intranet solution is pre-made and just needs to be filled with your business data (or linked to it), then configured in a way that makes sense for your operations.
For small to medium businesses, this is often enough. At the enterprise level, an Intranet may be more complex and need further customisations to fit specific business use cases.
Customisation at a later date
With an out of the box solution (with an accessible API) and a trusted developer-partner, those customisations that you think you may need later down the track (or that come along unexpectedly) can be deployed within your intranet.
You can do customisations on a priority basis, so costs are still kept to a minimum, or can be budgeted in when you have the available funds to do so.