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Need to replace your intranet? 8 things to think about

4/15/21 5:25 PM

Replacing an outdated intranet with the right digital workplace solution has become an essential business decision for many organizations – especially now that we’re moving towards hybrid working models. With people working both in the office and remotely, companies need to think about the employee experience and make sure they've got the technology in place to support an inclusive workplace. 

No matter what stage you're at in your digital transformation, the most important thing is that you do your research.

Here are 8 factors to consider when replacing a legacy intranet:

1. Have clear goals

Save time, by agreeing exactly what you’re looking for upfront. What will make your new digital workplace a success? What difference will it make to your business?

While it’s tempting to jump straight to designing pages and adding brand colors, making sure you can solve business problems and drive opportunities with your new digital workplace solution is key to achieving long-term success. For example, if your organization has plans for global expansion, the ability to translate content and have global and local admin will be essential.

For businesses with remote sales teams, an excellent mobile app and the ability to integrate platforms like Salesforce might be critical. If innovation is a big part of what you do, then crowdsourcing capabilities will be a priority.

2. Get the right people involved

When you’re looking to get your intranet replacement project off the ground, the first challenge will be getting stakeholders interested. Not to mention, you’ll need that all important senior leadership endorsement.

Senior stakeholders will want information about ROI, which includes the measurable gains and the business impact of your intranet evolution. Those numbers will be a powerful motivator for senior leaders.

To determine your ROI, we recommend tracking a number of different metrics. You may also want to take a look at our eBook on the real ROI for the digital workplace.

And don’t forget your IT department. Involving them early on will result in better outcomes and easier adoption across your organization.

3. Keep it simple

Switching between multiple applications and juggling different login details can be painful and annoying. So it’s important to ensure that your existing tech can be integrated into one single digital workplace solution.

From document collaboration, workflows, and messaging, to crowdsourcing applications and sales tools, employees should no longer need to struggle with data silos and worrying about which tool to use and when.

By choosing a digital workplace that works with Microsoft Teams and third-party software like Salesforce, SuccessFactors, and Workday, employees can get all their alerts in one place, and connect directly with leadership. The result will be a more positive and productive work environment.

4. Combat information overload

Our world is awash with an unprecedented volume of data. As a result, it’s surprisingly easy for important messages to get ‘lost in the noise’.

When replacing your intranet, look for a digital workplace solution that combines personalized content with a news carousel on the home page, delivering relevant local and global company news. This will ensure employees are easily able to stay up-to-date. In addition, video stories allow content creators to bring their written work to life with a video message.

5. People expect consumer-grade functionality

Think about the apps on your phone. Sure, some of them are more complex than others, but we rarely need training to use them. App developers know that if their design isn't intuitive, users will be unlikely to stick around. In other words: We’ve come to expect a very high standard from consumer software.

When replacing your intranet, the same rules should apply. Choose a digital workplace solution that can deliver a modern, customizable experience, with a familiar interface that's similar to popular social media platforms. This should be available on every device, including desktop and mobile. Outstanding search capabilities are essential, too.

6. Set up proper training

A small amount of training can give people the confidence to make the most of your new digital workplace, cementing its place as a tool they'll use every day.

When designing your training, it’s worth considering the three major learning styles: Visual, auditory and kinesthetic (learning through action). That way, everyone's covered.

7. 'Switch off' old channels.

If people are used to receiving information by email, you'll need to think about how that will affect your new way of working. 

Most employees won’t change their behavior without an incentive. When it comes to communication, this means making sure the experience is user-friendly. It also means having the courage to stop sharing information by email. As an interim step, many organizations email a link to important messages in their digital workplace, so employees can get used to a new way of working.

Remember that corporate email is a predominantly ‘top-down’ method of communicating. A good social digital workplace lets employees access all the information they need with easy, two-way communication and collaboration, which cuts down on the number of emails you need to send.

8. Make remote working inclusive

Like it or not, remote working is here to stay. While some employees will welcome a hybrid work model so they can go back to the office, many will stay fully remote. Regardless of where people work, everyone needs to feel included. Creating meaningful dialogue, both via video calls and in your digital workplace will help employees feel valued, listened to, and connected.

When deploying a new digital workplace solution, it’s more important than ever to create ways for workers to collaborate, praise colleagues, and also have some fun.

Legacy intranets are doing more harm than good

The ability to deliver an exceptional employee experience is a competitive advantage, and having the right technology in place can help you stay ahead. 

Global organizations need to win in multiple local markets, and they need the local insights of people who are fully immersed in their cultures to achieve this. The right digital workplace enables organizations to do this by helping to recruit, engage, and retain the best global talent.

Increasingly, the future belongs to businesses with intelligent, efficient digital operations. Employees need easy and secure access to information, opportunities to collaborate and solve business challenges, and the ability to make real-time decisions.

When considering whether to replace your intranet and invest in an intelligent digital workplace, remember it's got the potential to transform your business and your employee experience. 

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