The user has many demands when it comes to modern intranets, and many people associate a modern intranet with “the digital workplace”. And yes, the intranet is, without a doubt, a central player when it comes to the digital workplace, but the intranet is only a part of the workplace.
Well then, what is an intranet?
The intranet is many things and has greatly evolved through time, which is why it can be difficult to keep track of what an intranet actually is (and isn’t), and which requirements should be set for one’s intranet. That is why we have decided patch things up, and write this small article, that gives insight into how the intranet has developed through the years, why the modern intranet is an essential part of the workplace, and how the modern intranet can be the key to any digital workplace.
Do you find yourself pretty lit up in the history of the intranet, then skip the first two themes and jump direct to the last section.
The static intranet: knowledge that is easily available
The intranet, not unlike many great ideas through time, never stands still. In the early days, the intranet was simply all of the company’s computers, that had been connected. It later evolved into something more tangible, where a shared platform connected all of the company’s digital solutions into a local and secure network, that offered the employees an array of options and functions.
In the beginning, the intranet helped ease communication and many considered the intranet an opportunity to share information from a central hub to employees. The solution consisted of static websites, intended for one-way communications with limited options, like the sharing of company policies, news from the company, or other internal activities such as anniversaries. The responsibility of sharing information on the intranet, typically fell on one department such as the HR- or communications department.
It was primarily a static intranet, centered around one-way communication from management to the employees, where the most dynamic part of the system, was the information that was continually publicized by a given unit. The possibility of interaction was non-existent.
The dynamic intranet: the user at the center
The technological advancement brings with it many new needs and areas of priority, that the intranet needs to comply with, and that helps the development of the intranet from a static to a more dynamic platform.
Effective communication is still one of the intranet’s main objectives, but the need for knowledge sharing creates a need for functions that enable interaction between users. By doing this, the intranet is moving away from being a top-down run platform and is moving towards being a dialogue-based platform, that opens up a whole new world of information sharing. By using the dynamic intranet, the company will connect better, and the intranet will become more versatile and will have much more to offer to each individual employee, and to the company as a whole.
The development of the intranet from a static to a dynamic platform has opened up entirely new opportunities for internal communication in companies. It is this development, that we at Colibo are so incredibly proud of having been a fundamental part of.
The dynamic intranet is an entirely new way of seeing intranets and ownership. The user is at the center and becomes an integral part of the intranet’s success. This comes down to the fact, that the intranet allows not only user interaction but also decentralized management, where the responsibility of managing the information- and news flow is no longer concentrated in one place but is spread out on different departments and users.
The dynamic aspect is without a doubt going to stay, and intranets are now required to be able to handle both static and dynamic communication and information sharing, and most important of all, the intranet needs to be able to solve this task while keeping the user at the center.
The modern intranet: embraces your digital workplace
With the arrival of digital workplaces, new needs arise which place new demands on the intranet. Other than being an effective communication- and information sharing platform, that sets the stage for interaction and involvement, the intranet is now seen as the digital toolbox. This means that the intranet can help the company by supporting the digital workplace, which has many systems for administration, that can be accessed from many places, by many employees. The intranet is not supposed to replace these administrative systems. It is supposed to help the users make their digital workday more convenient and manageable
With the modern intranet, the digital workplace is united in a simple and intuitive way.
The intranet is built upon different foundations that help shape this generations intranet. The possibilities that the intranet platform present are at this point many.
The static intranet has laid the cornerstone knowledge and file sharing, where the dynamic intranet has added the interaction and has thereby made the intranet a dynamic platform, that is centered around the individual user, with a focus on relevant and personal communication, cooperation, and file sharing. The modern intranet is made on the same foundation as the intranet but additionally focuses on the user by connecting the intranet and the additional administrative systems, creating a so-called company hub.
The feeling of a community
In addition to doing something as practical as unify the company’s digital toolbox, the intranet offers something more fundamental – community.
An intranet also plays a role on the emotional spectrum and revolves around the feeling of a community, where trust between colleagues and the belief that everyone is on the same team, is the foundation of better collaboration and more innovation. It is the wish of being part of something bigger, and to see it grow instead of just clocking hours at work. It is the difference between “feeling at home” at the workplace, and “counting the minutes to closing time”. It is the eagerness to feel like you make a difference. Faith moves more than mountains; to believe in yourself and your colleagues, raises productivity and the bottom line.
With an effective and well-managed intranet, that at one and the same time unites the company’s entire communication on a single platform, streamlines knowledge sharing, and bring about the feeling of a stronger community at the workplace, the intranet is more than just a tool to illustrate the company’s overall vision. It is a tool to give the individual employee hope and to make sure that everyone is working towards the same objective.
Apart from that, it becomes easier for the management to set the course of the company, and to clarify it to every employee at every level of the company. At the same time, it gives the individual employee the opportunity to have an impact by voicing good ideas, proposals, initiatives. The end goal with the intranet is therefore not to just give every a voice because that has been a possibility even before the creation of the intranet, it is to create a cooperate environment and work culture where knowledge sharing is actively encouraged, and a part of the normal work procedures.