Intranet Portal on Office 365 Part 3: The Intranet at the Core of an Integrated Experience
Intranet portal design has evolved considerably as a result of Office 365 and SharePoint. As more organizations come to understand and embrace the Digital Workplace, employees expect a centralized, seamless user interface that they can access anywhere, anytime.
When it comes to your Intranet portal, beauty and functionality only go so far. The content that is displayed on the Intranet portal for your organization and how it benefits employees is going to be the defining line in user adoption and a successful Intranet on Office 365 and SharePoint.
There is no shortage of content that can be added to the Intranet portal. It’s important to strike a balance between operational content that is essential for all employees to be aware of and personalized content that is going to benefit just one team or one department.
What most organizations don’t realize is that in order to have content you have to get content. It’s a Catch-22. While employees of an organization clamor for content they don’t understand what it takes to provide that content. When they are then approached to submit content they avoid the task or put it off. This leaves frazzled and overwhelmed content managers who work hard to provide relevant, contextual Intranet information.
Providing employees with the ability to personalize content in conjunction with organizational content will increase usage and collaboration and help them do their jobs better.
For example, picture a salesperson in charge of the government sector who finds a website containing the latest RFPs for his or her state. The ability to link relevant content directly on the Intranet will greatly improve workflow, reduce time-consuming searches, and increase user adoption of the Intranet.
A lot of businesses become enamored with big, beautiful Intranets with sleek layouts and vibrant visual imagery. They want a stunning, well-sized picture to go with the latest company announcement. Or, they want to see who the new hires are, not just read about them. There are awards given to Intranets for achievements in design and beauty.
However, bigger is not always better and neither is beauty when it comes to Intranets. What people don’t realize when it comes to designing an Intranet and making it look good is that beauty comes at a price. Is your budget ready for that?
Forward-thinking business executives for small- to medium-size organizations (SMBs) are starting to realize that a “Holy Trinity” of technology, collaboration, and integrated business processes can exist together that lead to a next generation front office.
Advances in cloud platforms like Office 365 can provide transformative opportunities for SMBs that have never before been available. This “Holy Trinity” can exponentially improve productivity, competitive influence, and slash traditional IT costs for SMBs.
New IT Cloud Infrastructures are Transforming Operational Models for SMBs
Currently, many SMBs run their organizations on traditional IT infrastructures composed of disparate systems that evolved from an organic IT approach to an automated approach with siloed department functions. As a result, these SMBs face overblown IT budgets that are driven by maintaining multiple systems and platforms, redundant data entry, and superfluous administration.
Additionally, for these SMBs to stay competitive and serve a more distributed workforce, management is under pressure to modernize in order to support mobile devices, eliminate VPNs, and provide a common platform on which to easily do business. The negative impact for SMBs is that these current IT infrastructures could hinder growth and reduce employee productivity.
In the chaos of rapid growth, many organizations added siloed departments, each with its own procedures, policies, and systems. Many of these siloed departments use different hardware and platforms, different security or sign-in schemes, separate maintenance procedures, and separate recurring costs. How many separate systems do your employees have to use? How many different systems does your IT department have to maintain?