As organizations both large and small race to adopt more nimble and modern cloud-based applications to solve a myriad of business issues, the Intranet is also evolving from the typically large scale on premise behemoth to a distributed, mobile first SaaS app.
Intranets have been at the cornerstone of employee communication and engagement for nearly twenty years, yet their design and user experience generally hasn’t evolved in this time.
As employees become mobile-first workers who expect on-demand data and content, the underlying platform delivering this data and content must be as innovative as the apps installed on the individual’s phone or tablet.
There are many benefits for launching a cloud-based Intranet. While some will be obvious, other benefits could radically change the way staff communicate with team members and across the organization.
Many organizations are quickly realizing that their outward facing brand communication is heavily influenced by what people are thinking and saying internally. A modern, social Intranet will greatly improve the opportunity for individuals across the whole organization to become better brand advocates through providing environments for collaboration and discovery.
Here are our top five benefits for running with a cloud-based Intranet.
1. Lower cost of entry
Cloud-based applications typically follow a month-by-month payment model, allowing organizations to procure software as an operational expense rather than an upfront capital commitment. A cloud based Intranet removes the complexities associated with paying for the solution, and enables organizations to move fast in launching a new Intranet.
On-premise software is encumbered with steps in deployment, configuration, testing and training people in how to use the software before anything meaningful can be undertaken with the platform. This ultimately delays the time to launch and adds cost to the overall effort.
A cloud based Intranet also offers organizations to ‘try before you buy’ as the effort in creating a new sandbox environment for you to evaluate the solution is a straightforward process.
2. Infrastructure as a service
Traditionally the primary costs of an Intranet are in the procurement of the software and the hardware. As the Intranet grows over time, or you choose to release it to more users, an impact to the performance of the hardware could become apparent.
Cloud-based applications have democratized this hardware cost by rolling the infrastructure into the overall cost of the solution. You now rent the infrastructure as part of the monthly access fee. Additionally, the vendor will also ensure the underlying hardware is improving overtime so you are not burdened with this effort or expense.
There is a growing divide between those who choose to build and maintain on premise infrastructure, compared with those who choose to use the software within a secure cloud environment.
3. Focusing on the things that matter
Why burden yourself and the rest of the Intranet team focusing on how much memory the Production server should have, or which team member will be responsible for running the backup and restore process. Now these are important aspects for running a stable Intranet, but leave it to the cloud provider to ensure your solution
Your time is best spent in preparing a new Intranet that has a well-considered site architecture, appropriate metadata and adequate time for preparing your Intranet content are just a few examples of why getting caught up in the nuts and bolts of how the Intranet will run could quickly extinguish valuable time that should be set aside to ensure staff find the new Intranet thoughtful, helpful and ultimately valuable.
4. Distributed Training
A cloud based Intranet offers the ability of ensuring everyone across the organization can access the latest training assets. If the Intranet is cloud based then it more readily enables training authors to publish training content from any location, and with CentricMinds, they can even capture and publish photos and video from their phone and publish directly to specific audiences on the Intranet.
The challenge with delivering training via an on-premise Intranet is the accessibility by team members who increasingly represent a mobile workforce. The Intranet should be at the center of your corporate training and a cloud based Intranet offers unique opportunities to positively influence how people are trained.
5. Connect with your other apps
There’s a good chance your organization has already employed other cloud-based applications to support operational parts of your organization. Many work oriented application vendors covering verticals such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI), HR and Payroll have all been in the cloud for years. Intranets are more powerful when you expose data from these apps to staff via the Intranet. A cloud based Intranet enables this data exchange to occur more easily.