Our Thoughts
Ruchika Mohite
09 November, 2021
8 MIN READ

Why should intranet be a part of your digital workplace?

A digital workspace is a secure work environment that is location agnostic. Employees have the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime with any device. Cloud computing has enabled the transformation of the workplace. Digital workspaces have evolved from a single device to a combination of desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. With multiple devices, software and communication tools have also increased. This has made enhanced security a necessity not to compromise organizations and client systems.

The digital workplace includes all tools and technologies that an enterprise uses. The corporate intranet is an internal network of an enterprise accessed by authorized employees only. Intranet is one part of the digital workplace that has multiple digital components. All enterprises have a digital workplace in one form or the other while they may or may not have an intranet. However, both digital workplace and intranet are essential in today’s remote work environment.

 

How does intranet add value to your digital workplace?

What is a digital workplace?

A digital workplace (DW) comprises employees, technology, a working environment, and digital tools. The term ‘digital workplace’ – originally used as a collective term for word processors, emails, and internet applications – has now evolved to represent a broader set of tools and technologies. This includes HR systems, workflow management tools, and data analytic tools.

Digital workplace platforms help integrate multiple business applications used within the organization. It enables employees to access the necessary information, data, and tools through one platform. It virtually replaces a physical office and helps improve employee experiences by seamlessly working with their team and customers.

What is a digital workspace?

A digital workspace is an end-user computing environment. It allows users to work securely from anywhere with any device at any point in time and be more productive. It is within the larger digital workplace: like one’s workstation is part of a bigger workplace. Digital workspaces are not common for all employees and depend on the work they do. There may be a set of common applications and tools in digital workspaces, while the differences will be due to the nature of work that an employee performs for the company.

What is a corporate intranet?

A corporate intranet is a private company network for communication, collaboration, knowledge dissemination, and employee development. This type of intranet is a web-based application accessed by authorized employees.

Traditionally, the intranet was an information repository containing links to other resources. In contrast, the modern intranet has evolved to become an engaging communication and collaboration platform. It is a single source of information and updates for employees. It also helps employees form communities and develop their skills through online training programs. The modern intranet is a digital hub that helps companies improve in terms of efficiency and productivity.

Why should intranet be a part of your digital workplace?

As employees work remotely, they use multiple applications and tools to communicate, collaborate, and deliver with and to the client. The modern intranet is a one-stop shop for employees to connect, collaborate, learn, and access information. It offers frictionless access to multiple applications and tools through a single sign-in. Intranet also helps employees troubleshoot minor issues with self-help guides and video tutorials. Additionally, it helps them develop new skills through online learning modules hosted on the platforms. 

Intranet has evolved from a static legacy tool to a dynamic platform combining communication technologies and collaboration tools into one platform. Intranet complements workplace technologies and platforms to serve the needs of digitally connected organizations. 

Where does the intranet fit in your digital workplace?

Intranet has assumed greater importance with communication and collaboration at the center of today’s workplace strategy where employees work remotely. An intranet is one part of the digital workplace that includes human resources to email, instant messaging, virtual meeting tools, data analytics, and other organization applications. A well-designed and engaging intranet can become a foundation for an effective digital workplace through:

  • Communication and collaboration: Intranet binds an enterprise into one unit, which improves communication and collaboration across teams and business functions. 
  • Single sign-on: Intranet provides single sign-in to access multiple business applications and productivity tools. It acts as a digital entry point for employees for the broader digital workplace. Intranet integration with applications and tools helps employees save time and improve efficiency.
  • Mobility: A responsive intranet with solid communication and engagement capabilities supports the mobile workforce effectively.  
  • Knowledge repository: Intranet can be leveraged to provide corporate forms, appraisal forms, and templates. It can also be a central place to store sales reports, presentations, contracts, and other organized knowledge to help employees save time and improve efficiency.  
  • Content accessibility: An intelligent search feature makes accessing information more accessible and faster. A recommendation engine offers content suggestions that reduce employee effort and improve productivity.
  • Company culture: Intranet helps to bond people and teams into one single cohesive unit. It brings positive cultural change within a workplace.

 

How is an engaging intranet crucial for improving DEX?

Digital employee experience (DEX) refers to the employee's interaction with business applications and digital tools they use at the workplace. For example, every digital touchpoint that an employee encounters during their day at work constitutes a DEX. 

In a remote work environment, digital platforms are the employee’s primary point of contact with the company, colleagues, and clients. Here, DEX has assumed importance and priority similar to customer experience as employees continue to work remotely for an extended period. Intranet has evolved from an information repository to an engaging and collaborative platform for employees. In addition, the intranet offers a single sign-on for employees to access multiple applications and tools. As such, the evolution of digital employee experience and intranet are synchronous. An engaging intranet is critical for a company to improve its digital employee experience.  

  • Integrated experience: With a single sign-in, the intranet enables employees to have a seamless work experience. Intranet acts as a gateway to the digital workplace by integrating applications and tools. It helps employees focus on their core work instead of remembering passwords for switching between applications.
  • Process automation: Intranet hosts applications for internal business processes that empower employees to complete the tasks efficiently. Meanwhile, it also reduces resource requirements for the company. 
  • Community building: The social features offer employees opportunities to build communities across shared interests and functional capabilities. The community acts as a self-help group elevating the employee experience. 
  • Online training: Employees can access online learning modules based on their job requirements and interests. The centralized training helps employees develop skills and enables learning departments to manage employee records in one place.
  • Personalized content: Personalized news feeds can be created with the intranet to correspond to individual employees' needs and interests.  
  • Search functionality: Intranet provides the right content to the employees by incorporating a smart internal search. Well-planned metadata for the intranet enables the platform to generate relevant search results.
  • Knowledge sharing: It helps employees and teams share knowledge across the organization, eliminating redundancy and improving productivity.

 

Which is the best way to seamlessly introduce an intranet into your digital workplace strategy?

Every business has a digital workplace in one form or another, although they may lack a holistic digital workplace strategy. A comprehensive strategy to build a modern digital workplace is a prerequisite for a remote work environment rather than a piecemeal approach. The strategy requires defining business objectives before deciding on technology tools and business applications.

Businesses need to leverage the intranet as part of their holistic digital workplace strategy. With inherent communication, collaboration, and engagement capabilities, the intranet will help businesses achieve broader digital workplace objectives. In addition, it can help create a seamless work environment leading to increased productivity, efficiency, and data security. 

Plan intranet as a hub of digital workplace strategy

Businesses should use the intranet as a hub with other digital workplace components as spokes around it. As a legacy system, the intranet already has content and collaboration workflow capabilities. It can be modified to meet the expectations of a mobile and remote workforce. Emerging technologies such as social and artificial intelligence can be used to create a modern intranet that is collaborative and engaging.  

Intranet needs to be developed as a go-to platform for employees to access business applications, productivity tools, and knowledge.

Clearly defined ownership and responsibility for intranet

A successful intranet network is vital to the success of a digital workplace strategy. One of the challenges of creating a successful intranet is defining the ownership of the platform. As traditional intranet was not crucial in the organizational scheme of things, the ownership of the platform was usually with the human resource and communication department.  

It is necessary to broad-base the ownership to include business unit people. The groups across the company should get involved in defining the features and functionalities of the intranet. 

The company’s expertise in emerging technologies can be leveraged to improve the utility and capability of the intranet. It is possible if people across business functions can be included in a steering committee to drive the evolution of the intranet and the success of your digital workplace. 

 

Intranet: the keystone of the digital workplace

Intranet helps companies connect remote employees seamlessly and provide single sign-in to access information, knowledge, tutorials, and self-help groups or communities. An intranet allows employees to communicate and collaborate seamlessly, leading to greater productivity and efficiency. With its utility for a successful digital workplace, the intranet will continue to gain prominence in a company’s scheme of things to build a digital workplace. 

A well-designed and engaging intranet platform can be the foundation of a company’s digital workplace strategy. To learn more about how modern intranet can help you build a foundation for a digital workplace, reach out to us at [email protected]

Ruchika Mohite