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Why an outdated intranet is a bigger risk than you think

Did you know that 35% of UK councils have been using their intranet for more than 5 years?

What is an intranet?

Whilst intranets are used for many different purposes, the general definition is “a private communications network accessible only by an organisation’s staff”.

Intranets have been around for over 25 years now. However, there are still many companies that choose not to use one. Often, this is because the organisation communicates in other ways or because they simply don’t fully understand the benefits a modern intranet can bring.

What is the risk of having your intranet for 5+ years?

As with most things in the tech sector, intranets have evolved massively over the last 5 years and as a result, a lot of the software and technology has become outdated (and a security risk).

Additionally, in order for an intranet to run smoothly, it needs to have frequent releases and updates in order to help the organisation increase employee engagement and collaboration. If an intranet is not maintained, you risk throwing away the benefits new features can bring, such as increased engagement, collaboration and adoption.

Risks of in-house as opposed to a using vendor?

Running your intranet in-house can work for some organisations, however, the risk becomes apparent when you begin to think about the amount of work which is going to be required in order to ensure that your intranet is up-to-date and working as best it can. In-house can be a huge drain on resources.

As an IT owner, your responsibilities will likely include:

  • Maintaining the technology and infrastructure
  • Doing your own updates on the intranet
  • Fixing your own bugs
  • Improving the product by yourself (or having to hire external developers)

All of the above will cost you and your organisation time and money. So the question becomes, why you should use a vendor instead?

A SaaS user license from a vendor (such as Invotra) can include:

  • Regular updates, including new features and functionality
  • Fortnightly releases with bug fixes, improvements etc.
  • New applications (in accordance with the product roadmap)
  • Training and instructional documentation (reducing the learning curve and saving your organisation time and money)
  • And much more…

Why should you consider buying an intranet?

There are many reasons to consider buying an intranet or moving to a new one, but in general, the benefits can be as follows:

Increasing productivity: Intranets can centralise all the information your staff need day-to-day, meaning employees can easily find and access files or data, allowing you to increase productivity

Communication: Intranets are one of the most powerful tools for communication within an organisation. A good intranet allows you to break down silos, facilitate collaboration and create a culture of open, positive communication

Collaboration: An intranet can enhance collaboration with features such as social applications, which can give employees a space to work together and discuss ideas.

Cost: The cost of an intranet can vary massively, however, with a SaaS provider (aside from the initial onboarding cost) you only pay for the monthly user license which covers all updates, maintenance and releases. This means that depending on the size of your organisation, an intranet can be a low-cost, high-reward solution to engaging your employees and centralising information and business-critical applications.

Intranet improvements: Intranets have evolved massively over the last few years, from advancements in User Experience design and our understanding of creating “useful” applications to leaps forward in the underpinning technology; a modern intranet is incomparable to one from even 5 years ago.

Overall, the benefits of a modern intranet can be huge, but the best way to truly understand how an intranet can help you to reinvent the way your organisation works is to do the research – no supplier will understand your unique business challenges the way you do.