When an organisation deploys an Intranet, it does so with the best of intentions. The core purpose of any Intranet is to make internal processes smoother, enable better communications and more efficient management of content – whether that be policy, project or communication driven content.
If you are looking to provide easier access to resources, improve collaboration and internal comms with employees, or boost engagement and productivity levels, every Intranet solution ultimately has objectives to meet.
Users of Office 365 and SharePoint can benefit from many features and functionalities of the cloud-based platform. Of course, utilising the host of features available is the best way to truly benefit from Microsoft’s cloud offering.
An Intranet refresh will enable your organisation to:
- Progress and improve its products and services
- Engage employees and drive innovation & collaboration
- Reinforce productivity through effective search of information of all types and formats
Poor use is a very common issue and one we’re familiar with in the SharePoint world. Best intentions are plentiful, but the realities of a “build it and they will come” mindset can impact the adoption and continued use of a company tool like an Intranet.
Many companies don’t think to drive traffic (and continue to drive traffic) to their Intranet, and even more forget they still need to drive the user journey around the Intranet content itself, pointing users at the most important or useful content to make navigation easier.
If your SharePoint Intranet is suffering from poor use (and you can check user stats in the admin settings) then you don’t necessarily need to pull the plug and start again. Instead we recommend a health-check and a possible short workshop to get to the guts of “why is use declining/suffering?”
From these types of engagements, the following areas can be identified:
- Information Architecture
- Governance (permissions and security)
- HR policy management
Recommendations for Information Architecture in the Cloud
Your business will likely evolve and change over time – you need to have an intranet that allows for change and flexibility. Only by having solid information architecture within SharePoint can you future-proof and leverage SharePoint to its fullest potential.
Align your site design with your document management principles – and make use of the tools at hand! A benefit of SharePoint Online is the access to the suite of Office 365 apps. These apps can hugely enhance the Intranet experience for the end user.
Data visualisation apps such as Delve and Sway mean that your Intranet can have the look and feel of a modern-day website. However, apps such as these should only be used in areas where they’ll create actual benefit! Sway for example could be great for company announcements and the occasional news bulletin; you may not want to use it on every page of your Intranet though!