Intranets have been in use by organizations for decades, even before the internet became sophisticated and accessible to the world. An intranet supports organizations by providing a convenient, secure, private space for communicating and collaborating.
While an intranet alone doesn’t guarantee success, the right implementation and tools can make an intranet a company’s most valuable asset.
An intranet provides the following benefits to companies regardless of the industry:
- Information storage in a centralized location, increasing efficiency
- Files and information become easy to locate via search
- Secure, private communication
- Secure employee-only communications
- Secure collaboration between team members across the world
- Streamlines company communications to team members
- Helps to keep projects on track
- Contributes to delivering work on time to clients
Designed to function like a powerful website on the internet – except with exclusive access – there are virtually no limits to what can be accomplished with an intranet.
Organizations without an intranet are at a disadvantage
An organization attempting to stay organized without an intranet is at a serious disadvantage compared to companies that utilize an intranet. The disadvantage is less organization, more chaos, and ultimately wasted time and money.
While all of the benefits listed above can be achieved without an intranet, it’s not the same. Without an intranet, employees need to visit multiple websites to access company assets and they need to remember where to find each type of asset they’re looking for. Alternatively, an intranet provides all the above benefits in one central location.
An intranet can make your company database searchable
What’s in your company database? Does your team have to go hunting to find resources and assets? By connecting your company database to your intranet, you can make your database searchable by keyword, file type, and other specific values.
No intranet? Your team is probably struggling
Companies that don’t use an intranet tend to have multiple applications that teams need to use to collaborate. For example, a company might use Basecamp for task management, Box for storing important files, Slack for daily communication, company email for relaying important information to teammates, and a proprietary application for communicating with clients.
Having information and assets in multiple locations is sometimes unavoidable. For example, you might need to store company assets using a service like Box, but with an intranet you can eliminate the need to use multiple applications for the same purpose. For instance, your sales team can use the company intranet to share information on leads where it stays in one place rather than going back and forth in emails.
The key is to make your intranet user-friendly and a tool employees want to use. According to statistics, only 13% of employees use their company’s intranet. Part of the reason employees don’t use their company’s intranet is because it’s outdated, hard to use, or provides too much information not relevant to the employee. Adoption rates can be improved with a user-friendly and uncluttered interface along with delivering relevant content to each employee.
An intranet reduces employee overwhelm
Employees are overwhelmed by the amount of communication and meetings that take place across multiple channels. Many employees spend hours sifting through those communications, only to discover nothing is relevant to their position.
A well-designed intranet puts important, relevant information on the front page that each team member sees when they log in. Communications can be tagged so that team members get the information that applies to their position.
An intranet makes searching for relevant information easy
A company without an intranet probably doesn’t have an easy way for employees to find specific assets. For example, a PDF file required to push out a marketing campaign might be somewhere in the company’s Box account, but nobody knows where. Not knowing the exact file name or date of creation makes it even harder to locate.
A company intranet can solve that issue by requiring all uploads to be tagged so files are easy to find later on.
Saving time saves money
The bottom line is that developing a powerful company intranet saves time, which saves money. When employees don’t have to spin their wheels looking for information, they’re more likely to stay with your company rather than jumping ship out of frustration.
An intranet will help your employees find necessary resources and information with ease. If you don’t have an intranet yet, now is the perfect time to create one.
Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, TheNextWeb.com and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.