Intranets are internal networks principally designed for use by an organisation’s employees.
Intranets are internal networks principally designed for use by an organisation’s employees. A well-designed intranet can offer a wide range of benefits, including improved communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing. Discover more about the key features of an intranet should have to properly serve your organisation:
1. Easy navigation and search
A major intranet capability is the ability to store all of an organisation’s key information in one place. Employees should be able to quickly find the information they need, without getting lost in a maze of links. Intranet search engines should be robust and able to index all of the intranet's content. And increasingly, organisations should be looking to harness the power of metadata in search.
2. Mobile-friendly is now one of the key features of an intranet
Modern working is mobile. If you are planning to use your intranet functionality to support your employees, it should be accessible from smartphones and tablets and wherever employees are working.
3. Security should also be central to design
Having all of your company data in one place is valuable, but does represent a potential risk. Having intelligent intranet software with user authentication and data encryption to protect sensitive information is, therefore, highly advisable (a Microsoft intranet platform can support this by linking credentials to Azure AD and wider Microsoft 365 security).
4. Customisable to your organisation
Your workspace should reflect your culture. You should be able to personalise your intranet to your specific company brand and needs. There may even be a different structure from department area to department area. Either way, effective intranet design is key.
5. Supports work collaboration
Your intranet should have a central location where all of the organisation's documents and files are stored. This provides employees with what they need and potentially prevents the duplication of effort. Adding document templates to your intranet should also ensure that documents look consistent throughout your business.
6. Delivers business information
Beyond documents, your intranet can also be a tool for internal FAQs about your business. From telephone extensions to organograms to company goals, any common questions about your organisation should be answered with your intranet.
7. Multi-layered access and experience
One of the most overlooked key characteristics of an intranet is that it should not be the same experience for everyone in the organisation. Yes, some areas will be communal; but there should also be areas and access for separate departments, job roles and levels of seniority. So a key feature of a well-configured intranet is that it will contain ALL of your documents - just not everyone can see them! Use sub-sites to keep your intranet relevant to your staff - they're more likely to use it that way
8. Integrates with other business applications
An intranet should be an intuitive part of an employee’s work – the ‘go to’ area. One that isn’t integrated becomes isolated and difficult to use. By contrast, an intranet that is integrated with other applications can provide a wealth of information and functionality to users (such as linking SharePoint and Teams).
9. A share feature for departmental and organisation-wide news
If everyone is going to your intranet to work, it makes it an excellent place to drive your internal communications. Being able to share news internally helps to keep everyone in the loop and up-to-date with what is going on. It also makes it easy to find old posts and announcements.
10. Include an area for employee learning
A learning centre is a great way to support employee learning on an intranet. It provides a central location for employees to access training materials, manuals and other resources. Your intranet can also be used by HR for employee onboarding, with secure sharing of information about your company before the employee formally starts with you.
Akita Intelligent Solutions develops SharePoint intranets for a variety of organisational challenges. View more about our Microsoft intranet solutions and services: