Intranet matters: 5 reasons you need a staff portal

Man working on laptop while in a server room

By Sam Marshall, Microsoft Guest Author

If you’re part of a growing organization, you may be finding that things that were once easy when everyone was in the same office have now become frustrating.

As people are more spread out, working from home or split over multiple floors, updates and news get harder to co-ordinate. People get missed off email lists and start to complain they can never find the right document. These are all signs that you need an intranet.

You can think of an intranet as being like a private website. It acts as the go-to place for news, information and sharing. The five big reasons to get an intranet are:

1) Communicating efficiently. Email lists can only go so far before people complain about too many messages, or an important announcement gets overlooked because it was pushed down by trivial updates. An intranet lets you take back control because you can make the headline news stick at the top of the page.

Those administrative updates about car parking and IT upgrades won’t go away, but you can keep them to the side-lines and free inboxes from those too.

2) Collaborating effectively. If you’re still using shared drives and email attachments to work together on documents, you’ve probably experienced the moment when somebody spent all night making updates to the wrong version.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Most modern intranets give you a place where multiple people can work on the same file and always have the latest version.

Even better, they provide a space for discussion, so everyone can see the comments and agree what needs to be done.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

3) Make information easy to find. Your intranet can be the home of all your trusted information. You can make sure there’s only one copy and that everyone has access to the latest policies, procedures and product information. Not only does this save time, but it can be vital for compliance where you need to know current processes are being followed.

4) Reduce risk. People just want to get the job done. If they’ve used a neat tool in their personal lives they may well start to use it for work too. But consumer-grade tools for sharing files or group discussions represent a risk to your security. What if people leave the company for a job with a competitor and still have access to those files? You could just block the services, but much better to offer an intranet as a properly-managed solution.

5) Cut administration costs. How much time gets lost to inefficient administration? Repeat calls to find out if a request has been fulfilled? Emails asking to update HR records? An intranet gives an easy way to put forms online, making it easier to get things right first time round.

Setting up an intranet can be quick and inexpensive. See my other article to learn how to choose the right intranet software for your business.

Sam Marshall is the owner of ClearBox Consulting. He tweets at @sammarshall

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