Fixing the intranet

Stop Trying To Fix The Intranet

This seems to be a difficult concept for many people to wrap their heads around, but it really is a time that we all stop trying to fix the intranet.

If you are currently working within an archaic company intranet, you know all too well that continuing to add new tools and more content is simply not working. The heart of the problem here is that when intranets were first designed and developed, they had a completely different purpose than what companies are looking for today.

Initially, these internal websites were developed by intranet provider for the sole purpose of storing company data, and keeping employees aware of the corporate information. However, over the last decade, the workplace has completely transformed into something no one could envision back then. The needs of companies have changed significantly, and with the focus now on collaboration and digital workplaces, the old intranet design just does not work.

While it’s important to acknowledge that the old systems aren’t working anymore, it’s essential to understand that simply adding tools and widgets to your old system will not fix the problem.

The solution? Get back to basics

This may sound strange, but really it’s exactly what companies need to do if they have an outdated intranet design they are stuck with. We must go back to the beginning, and re-define what our basic objectives and goals are. What do you need to achieve with this platform, in order for it to be effective for the company and employees?

Define what the basic needs are. Common things we want today are:

  • log-in from any device
  • fast and easy search functions
  • project management tools
  • content management
  • easy publication and social sharing
  • collaboration
  • administrative activities

The key here is to realize that while these core functions are essentially new, the path to achieving these objectives will lead you directly back to your old legacy system.

So rather than try to fix your company intranet, what you need to do is figure out how to marry these modern needs to the older data.

For example, when we consider the necessity of having a quick and easy search function, what you are doing is using a better tool to connect to your old data. You are not layering new information on top of the old — you are figuring out how to use new tools and connect those with the existing database.

Focus your efforts on upgrading platforms, layering on capabilities, and addressing internal complexities of your existing systems. Do not just pile new tools on top of existing problems. Approach making upgrades and updates with a strategic plan in place, and always ask yourself — how can the modern intranet needs be integrated with existing data?

 

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