The rise of the intranet

In the US, the rise of the intranet is becoming evident. Employees are demanding digital transformation, be it intentional or inadvertently – and organizations have little choice but to respond. The Economist Intelligence Unit Employee Experience (2019) survey reveals that 51% of US based survey respondents extensively discuss and evaluate their Employee Experience, compared to 46% of UK based respondents.

The intranet has never been more relevant. Engagement, collaboration, productivity metrics, remote working – in addition to an inherent need to understand how to better serve employees to fulfill organizational objectives, are transforming the working environment. Yet while many organizations acknowledge they need a new intranet, there are some serious roadblocks on the path to an improved use of digital technology.

The intranet is absolutely the heartbeat of the organization. Yet oddly, it’s something that’s often neglected by organizations, and often pushed down the list of priorities, focusing instead on public facing platforms as opposed to supporting employees to fulfill their objectives.

Why?

Some organizations don't know where to start

Prioritizing and defining the experience an organization wants to create for their employees is the best place to start. Actively engaging with users throughout the business, listening to user feedback from all levels, from content publishers right through to read only users across a variety of ability levels, will help clearly define & understand requirements.

Evidence-based objectives are easier to identify and support with a solution and/or processes. It’s also much easier to secure budget if the ROI related to a fulfilling employee experience can be identified. Too many businesses fail to see the significance of this.

Ownership of the intranet & employee experience is often a grey area to begin with

Understanding how, and by whom, the intranet should be managed (and supported commercially) is a key consideration. Understanding the role that technology plays in supporting the overall objective – increased engagement, productivity and collaboration is crucial.

Attaining top-down support can be challenging

Business buy-in is vital. For such an integral project to work, it needs support from both the business & IT. Without this, it’s quite often always an uphill battle with neither party successfully making it to the top. This is where & why we’ve seen numerous organizations fail to get off the starting blocks, despite one stakeholder team/dept raring to go. Half-hearted support from top leadership hinders project success, creates a strategic impasse and often, ill-will. Both sides – the business and IT department need to navigate the change together – because both will reap the benefits of a successful outcome.

The business has an obligation to fully support employees to achieve company objectives, as well as provide a rewarding & engaging user experience – just like the experiences outside the workplace that is conditioning them to demand the same at work. The need to provide timely, relevant communications to support people in their day-to-day roles is significant, as is a positive user experience that captures & engages.

The IT department usually doesn’t consider (sounds softer than care about, right?!) user experience or employee engagement. They have numerous applications to keep alive & kicking; the intranet being only one of them. What does interest them is scalability, integrations, SLA’s (a whole other topic!). More often than not, there are numerous legacy applications precariously working together, vaulting precious information, making data integrity a significant concern for them.

The business, on the other hand, has an obligation to fully support employees to achieve company objectives, as well as provide a rewarding & engaging user experience – just like the experiences outside the workplace that is conditioning them to demand the same at work. The need to provide timely, relevant communications to support people in their day-to-day roles is significant, as is a positive user experience that captures & engages.

Conclusion

At Invotra, while we can’t set your organizational objectives (point 1 above) or tell you who should own the intranet (point 2 above), we can and always support the issue of ensuring the business & IT department comfortably and willingly land on the same page. We can keep both parties happy – we integrate with other applications and surfacing that content/data – satisfying the end users with a fantastic experience, while giving breathing room to the IT team in a secure manner, ensuring everyone wins.