You’ve made the decision that a corporate intranet is what’s needed in your organisation, now to begin the simple task of choosing an intranet provider. But it’s not that simple is it? The number of intranet providers seems to be endless, and still expanding. So how do you make your decision? We’ve put together a few tips to aid you in the quest for the perfect intranet provider.
Step 1 – What do you need from an intranet solution?
Before you even begin to research which intranet providers are out in the market, you need to look inwards. We don’t mean this in the spiritual sense, we want you to look at your organisation’s internal daily processes. An intranet should be in place to help your business needs. How can you choose which features you require if you’re not sure what you’re trying to achieve?
Firstly, look at your most important asset, your employees. They are the people who will make up the majority of intranet users. Look at how an intranet can improve their working lives, when looking for your intranet provider you want to ensure that it enhances the employee experience. A great way of doing this is to involve employees from very early on, get input on the challenges they face and how completing their daily tasks can be made easier.
Identifying your pain points and needs before you begin searching for a provider ensures that you won’t be mis-sold features which will never get used or are simply irrelevant to your organisation.
Step 2 – Research your options when it comes to intranet providers
You have taken an honest look at your organisation, established the challenges you need your corporate intranet to help with, now to find your provider. It’s so important not to rush into this decision. Invest some time in researching intranet providers.
You will find that there are many who offer the same basic features, but you need to look at your requirements and question if basic is enough. Company reputation is a big factor to take into consideration.
If you are looking at working with a consultancy to aid you on your intranet journey, take a look into the solutions they have provided for other businesses. Probably the most important factor when researching your intranet provider is the level of support they offer. Deploying corporate intranets into any organisation can be a bumpy process, you want a provider who offers support during every stage from planning through to deployment to user adoption.
You’ve made the decision to deploy a corporate intranet into your organisation but you need to get stakeholders on board. Learn how to structure a convincing business case and get your free template here.
Step 3 – Determine which intranet solutions the provider is offering
Research into providers has been carried out, now you have a shortlist of intranet providers it’s time to take a closer look at the features they offer. As your intranet will be an internal communication platform ensure that the communication tools on offer will be effective.
Employees now want to engage with platforms that look like those they use in everyday life; enterprise social networks are the perfect way to do this. Ensure the offering you’re choosing is customisable. You want to be able to personalise your intranet to fit with your organisation’s branding and requirements.
Alongside customisation you want to make sure that the provider you select offers integration too. You undoubtedly have some tools, think of your HR and Sales departments for example, that are crucial to your business so it would be helpful if these integrated into your intranet portal. Another important factor when choosing your provider is to ensure they have a roadmap.
You want to know that your intranet solution will have plans for future development, so it doesn’t fall behind with digital workspace advancements.
Step 4 – See the intranet in action
Any respectable intranet provider will be able to give you a demonstration. Once you’ve looked at the features they offer and have your shortlist down to 2 or 3 providers it’s time to see the product in action. Schedule a demo and so you can see the intranet offering in action and here you can raise any questions about its functionality and get a feel for what it’s going to be like to use.
Step 5 – Determine a budget for your intranet project
Don’t be tempted to step outside your pre-determined budget. Your intranet solution should help your organisation control IT investment and reduce future costs. This being said, be realistic with your budget. An intranet will be a costly investment but being a platform that will be used frequently every day you don’t want to settle for anything less that than the best.
Why not Do It Yourself
Of course, you could go the route of a DIY intranet but carefully consider this, there’s a reason there are a vast number of intranet providers around now. Intranets aren’t quite as straightforward as they look and it’s easy to make mistakes. By choosing an intranet provider you don’t use up valuable time from your IT professionals and you have support throughout the process if any thing was to go wrong.