In the journey to implementing a successful intranet it’s crucial that your IT and IC (Internal Comms) departments work together. This is sometimes easier said than done. How can you bring them together to work in perfect unison? Begin by gathering an understanding of each departments different agendas and mindset. Appealing to both parties’ problem-solving natures could lead the way to finding balance between IC’s desire for functionality and IT’s insistence on governance and security.
Existing challenges and changes
Current technologies such as mobile, social and cloud are putting new demands on IT function and providing IC with some great opportunities. Another factor which adds to the challenge is Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) and the rapid pace which new apps are being developed. With awareness of this new technology growing so are the expectations of what can be achieved in small amount of time.
The use of Shadow IT is a challenge which has grown rapidly and isn’t always easy to control. Try not to look at tools like WhatsApp and Facebook groups as a threat. Think of them in a more valuable way, imagine them as a free test phase or pilot.
As we all know consumer tools can produce big risks from an access and information management point of view. So, use them to figure out the requirements you look to include for the enterprise-grade equivalent in your modern intranet. By identifying technology shortcomings which lead to the use of shadow IT this could help with minimising it’s use in the long-run.
IT must step up and support the business with using these tools and applications, because inevitably the businesses will use them regardless. This only intensifies the stereotype of a troubled IT/IC relationship. A new intranet is the perfect topic which could see IC and IT working together in an extremely important way.
Any department or individual employees who think that IT prevent them doing their job need to be worked with to improve this relationship. You won’t be able to achieve maximum success without everyone in your organisation working collectively.
What does the future look like?
As we’ve already heard mobile working will be a big part of business. Mass migration with mobile apps will mean having more mobile workplace tools. With the increase in mobile communications apps for the workplace comes the expectation that messages will be responded in real time, or at the very least, in a timely manner. It’s important to make the digital workplace as accessible as possible to all employees, this is where BYOD will come into play.
It will be essential that you are using the right collaborative tools, to enable employees to use the best suited tools for their role without comprising security, productivity or budget. This will ultimately give your IT team peace of mind and your IC team will be able to produce engaging and targeted content, which is seen by everyone. All of this will lead to an engaged, gratified workforce.
Who wants what from an Intranet
Do you know who wants what from your intranet? Knowing this information will help you come to a perfect, collaborative solution. As an Office 365 specialist we’ll be focusing on Office 365 here.
IT Directors are looking for value out of Office 365, particularly SharePoint Online, with quick deployment and adoption. Your Communications Directors want to be able to regularly engage with their staff on any device, any location at any time.
Sitting between IC and IT are Intranet Managers. What they want is an intranet which looks great, is simple to use and that employees will love. So how do you bring all this together for a successful intranet implementation?
Basic Tips for intranet success
- Develop a strategy/business case. This is crucial, you want to see not only where you’re heading, but markers to see how far you’ve come along the way too. Plan regular contact with key stakeholders or intranet champions to review progress and get feedback. Don’t try to do too much at once. Set clear goals, introducing new functionality as you progress to set stages.
- Encourage feedback. It’s crucial to have employees onboard as they will be the ones using the intranet on a day-to-day basis. Make sure employees from all areas of the organisation have the opportunity to give suggestions which will help to ensure you have an intranet which fulfils everyone’s needs.
- Stay fresh. The best way to maintain employee engagement is to boost new content. This includes making sure any policies/templates/procedures are kept up-to-date, ensuring that they’re the most current versions. Have a clear road map of your intranet journey so everyone in kept in the loop about when additional features and functionality will be available.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”smile Guide 2018: How to build an intranet IT and IC will love” style=”3d”]In this smile guide, which co-authored with Simply Communicate, we look at the relationship between Internal Communications (IC) and IT. This guide includes information on improving IC and IT relationships and what the future holds for Internal Communications in relation to the intranet.