Have you ever found yourself asking, 'Why do I need an intranet?' In today's fast-paced remote business environment, the answer lies in staying connected and well-organized, which is crucial for any corporation's success. One tool that has proven invaluable for enhancing internal communication, collaboration, and overall productivity is the corporate intranet.
What is an Intranet?
Before diving into the reasons for implementing an intranet, let's clarify what an intranet is. An intranet is a private website within an organization that is designed to facilitate internal communication and information sharing. Unlike the internet, which is accessible to the public, an intranet is accessible only to authorized users within the organization.
Why Does a Corporation Need an Intranet?
- Enhanced Communication: Effective communication is the lifeblood of any corporation. An intranet provides a centralized platform for sharing information, updates, announcements, and messages, fostering open and efficient communication among employees.
- Collaboration: Typically, when an organization gets close to 100 employees, teams often become dispersed geographically, and an intranet becomes a key communication tool. An intranet promotes collaboration by enabling employees to work together on projects, share documents, and provide real-time feedback, regardless of their physical location.
- Information Centralization: Critical documents, policies, procedures, and guidelines can be centralized on the intranet. This ensures that employees have easy access to the latest information, reducing the risk of outdated or conflicting data.
- Knowledge Sharing: Intranets serve as repositories for knowledge and best practices. Employees can contribute to and access a wealth of information, making onboarding easier and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
- Efficiency and Productivity: With an intranet, employees spend less time searching for information or waiting for responses to emails. This increases productivity and allows more time for meaningful work.
- Streamlined Workflow: Integrated intranet applications can automate business processes, such as leave requests or expense approvals, streamlining workflow and reducing administrative overhead.
- Security: Intranets are secure and can be configured to restrict access to sensitive information. This safeguards the corporation's proprietary data and reduces the risk of data breaches.
When Does a Corporation Need an Intranet?
- Growing Workforce: As an organization expands (again, around 100 folks), the need for efficient internal communication and collaboration becomes more critical. If an intranet is built correctly, it can scale alongside the corporation, ensuring everyone remains connected and informed.
- Remote Work: With the staying power of remote work and hybrid work models, an intranet becomes a vital tool for connecting dispersed teams, sharing information, and maintaining a sense of unity among remote employees.
- Centralized Information: When information is scattered across multiple platforms or stored in disparate locations, an intranet helps consolidate everything in one easily accessible location, reducing confusion and inefficiency.
- Knowledge Management: If your corporation values knowledge sharing and wants to preserve institutional knowledge, an intranet is an ideal solution. It provides a platform for employees to document their expertise and share it with their colleagues.
- Efficiency Improvement: If your organization faces challenges with time-consuming administrative tasks, an intranet can help automate processes, freeing up resources for more value-added work.
- Security Concerns: If your corporation deals with sensitive data, an intranet can provide a secure environment for storing and sharing this information, reducing the risk of data breaches.
So when internal communications start to become time-consuming, collaboration starts to drop off, and efficiency is lacking, then it’s time for intranet. While the exact timing for implementing an intranet can vary, the need becomes particularly apparent as the corporation grows. We’ve typically used the 100-employee mark as a milestone, but as businesses continue to embrace remote work, intranets are again starting to play a bigger role earlier.
Douglas Rockhill - Co-Founder @ The Experience Design Studio
Douglas is a digital native who has been creating digital experiences since 1998. When he’s not doing his first job as a soccer dad and bike mechanic to his four sons, he can be found leading a great team at The Experience Design Studio (XDS).
About the Experience Design Studio
The Experience Design Studio is an award-winning digitally native customer experience agency founded in 2017 by two agency veterans, bringing their collective creative, user experience, marketing, technology, and healthcare expertise together. XDS is a full-service digital agency providing employee intranet services, strategy to creation, consulting, design, engineering, marketing, and analytics, with the aim of providing seamless customer, patient, and HCP experiences across all digital touchpoints, with common sense sprinkled in.