Technology is moving at a fast pace and companies need to make sure they are enhancing and upgrading their systems and solutions periodically, including their intranet. The intranet or digital workplace can become inefficient, hard to use, and obsolete if it is not updated and maintained. Despite this, many companies have old and clunky intranets because of the perceived heavy lift of updating and modernizing their intranet. Little do companies know, implementing a modern intranet can be easy and cost effective with Office 365.
A static intranet that pushes one-way information and has no real-time communication capabilities is outdated. These days, people thrive on up-to-date information and collaboration, instant connections with people and data, and sharing of insights and expertise across teams and locations. Employees want to be able to contribute to the digital workplace and expect to quickly find the information and tools they need to get work done.
If your current intranet solution is old and clunky and, actually slows down productivity, it is time for a new intranet. In this blog piece, we will show you why an Office 365 intranet is the way to go.
What Office 365 can do for your intranet
Office 365 offers many applications and tools that can enhance your intranet and offer capabilities to make it more useable, robust and feature rich. Along with being on the cloud, having a user friendly and uniform interface across the tools, having an outstanding track record for up times and providing multiple layers of security, an intranet on Office 365 comes with the following advantages which are absolutely necessary if you want a state-of-the-art digital workplace solution which will meet the diverse needs of your employees and will stay relevant for a long time to come.
If your intranet offers static content and you think just because you provide it, your employees will be drawn to it; you are mistaken.
With an intranet on Office 365 you can take advantage of SharePoint’s easy publishing tools and make them available to your users so they can share their team or departmental news, upload event photographs and share interesting videos. This takes away control of content from a few, and allows staff to get creative by making content interesting, interactive and engaging, with polls, and like and comment features – which are possible with an integration with Yammer.
Employees spend way too much time looking for information, whether it is an email, a document, or a news article.
People are getting used to being offered relevant information instead of looking for it. On Netflix and Amazon, for example, you see a list of recommended movies and items respectively, depending on what you’ve watched or purchased in the past.
So why shouldn’t your intranet do the same? Office 365 uses the office graph to do just that! Graph is a tool that supports Office 365 search functions. It tracks content interaction, using machine learning to draw links between people, content and activity within an organization.
Graph’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities pulls up more relevant and useful content when a user conducts a search. The search results could include people profiles, news and videos along with documents and discussions.
Your digital workplace tool must offer mobile access, because if it doesn’t, your employees will find other methods to give them the mobility they require.
With the shift in work culture, people need anywhere anytime access to their email, documents and contacts. If your intranet doesn’t provide this access, they will use other apps and tools, which may not have the security layers provided by Microsoft. This could turn out to be counterproductive in the long run.
With an Office 365 intranet, all the tools are in the cloud. Your staff members can author documents, publish content, route their forms for approvals, track their tasks, update calendars, get reminders, and much more; from their mobile devices.
Fresh, new interface
A tired, old looking intranet from circa 2000 is not going to help you boost productivity and drive employee engagement. If your current intranet is met with disapproving looks and complaints, it’s time you change that.
With Office 365 you have many options. There is a myriad of ready-to-go offerings built on SharePoint and Office 365 that you can take advantage of. These solutions give you a fresh, consistent, updated look along with a lot of functionality which your employees can start exploring and using immediately.
Apart from providing communication and collaboration tools, a turnkey solution also provides employees with consolidated views of news, documents, tasks and discussions relevant to them, so they can get work done more easily.
All your intranet upgrades will go to waste if you don’t put in place tools that can measure and monitor employee engagement, user adoption, productivity increase, etc. Power BI and PowerApps can be used to help with collecting and analyzing various types of data.
Using PowerApps, you can build mobile apps which your staff can use on-the-go, to add, update or view information that sits in a SharePoint list or an Excel sheet. It doesn’t require programming experience and users can easily create and publish apps. With PowerBI your data comes to life with stunning visuals like graphs and charts. Power BI is a “self-service” suite and has user-friendly tools which allow you to connect to your data and create highly interactive visualizations and reports which can be saved or published and shared with others.
A digital workplace shouldn’t offer a one-size-fits-all experience. Instead it should be able to provide relevant and personalized information to every individual in your company. Thanks to artificial intelligence, many intranet solutions are finding new ways to surface timely and useful content within the context of the worker at the moment.
With an Office 365 intranet, it is possible to display the employee’s projects, tasks, and reminders, forms they need to approve and notifications they’ve received, news about their department and changes to policies that affect them.
What a modern intranet looks like
An intranet is not just a static site which functions as a document repository and internal news channel. The intranet has evolved (and continues to evolve) with the changes in work culture and the needs of business.
The modern intranet is where employees can log in any time, irrespective of their physical location. They can get information like updates to corporate or departmental policies, new recruits, training materials, etc. They can track their tasks, set up reminders, attend meetings, author documents, store contact information, and update project deliverables. They can also communicate with other users via different channels – instant messaging, discussions, email, and phone/video conferencing to brainstorm ideas, get feedback, solve problems collectively.
The modern intranet is a central hub buzzing with activity. It is where users come to be productive and meet their goals. It is where work is accomplished.
If you are on Office 365 and want to consolidate all your business processes under one roof, or you are looking for a turnkey solution that can enhance your current intranet offering, we can help. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our representative will get in touch with you.