More than half of today’s intranets subscribe to an outdated model that depends on heavy IT configuration, maintenance, and support. This was a necessity when intranets started in the early nineties. At that time, the magic was in the networking and technical wizardry to stand up employee portals, hence the overly technical and poorly descript term, intranet. 25 years later, many organizations are still tied down by this approach. For example, it’s not uncommon to see organizations mired in complex homegrown intranets or SharePoint implementations that require constant life support from highly technical, specialized, often dedicated IT professionals.
Today, technology has advanced to commoditize the technical aspects of intranet configuration. On average, traditional or custom-built intranets take 1.2 years to get a deployment off the ground. Off-the-shelf intranet providers can bypass the traditional SharePoint dependencies with software that can be implemented in hours, not months, unlike traditional approaches. More importantly, the new model frees up technical bottlenecks and gives your intranet a better chance of becoming an engaging environment.
Simple administration is critical for intranet success
Here are some key reasons why simple administration needs to be a critical requirement for your company intranet:
Avoid IT bottlenecks and go at “the speed of business”
Time is lost whenever there is a technical dependency that prevents work from getting done or information from being shared. What’s worse, IT dependencies often get backlogged and have to manage a roadmap with the business side to discuss trade-offs. This means the supply-side of the employee intranet suffers, content gets stale, and the latest updates lag. Ideally, intranets should be able to go at the speed of business to reflect the constantly changing realities of an organization. To do this, the system needs to be agile enough to change and not be dependent on limited resources. Once the technical dependencies are removed with simple point-and-click administration, many people on the business side can easily go about their work without help.
IT is not employee engagement experts
Intranets are often mired with unclear priorities. We frequently reference how Simpplr Research found that more than half of intranet programs don’t have a stated purpose or objectives. The prevailing charter of intranets in 2019 is different than it was in the nineties. Today, intranets are most commonly used to connect distributed employees, align an organization, and improve employee engagement with cohesive communications and an inclusive culture. Releasing the IT dependency to more capable communications and human resources functions makes this purpose clearer and easier to execute against.
Intranet administration shouldn’t be a full-time job
Intranets are commonly managed by the communications team now that the industry is migrating to more purpose-built intranet software that doesn’t require a lot of IT department overhead. The transition should not merely move a headcount. In today’s world, intranet administrators aren’t full-time jobs but rather a responsibility of a more exhaustive function. Easy point-and-click administration can mean the difference between a five-minute task and a multi-hour task.
Simple administration unlocks the magic of federated ownership
Simple point-and-click administration does something magical for employee intranets. When creating content and maintaining sites are as simple and intuitive as publishing a blog, all of a sudden, users across the entire organization are capable of administering the intranet. This is what empowers different office locations and departments to maintain and update their own content. Now the burden of engagement is no longer on a limited number of individuals, and the increased participation lends to partial ownership and further promotion of the intranet.
Distributed administration lets you communicate more and administer less
Intranet administrators focus should be on what it takes to create a vibrant intranet community that helps accomplish the broader objectives: connecting, aligning, and engaging employees. When the administration burdens are freed up, the administrators can switch how they allocate time to more strategic work. For example, instead of spending 80% of your time configuring and updating the intranet, you could be spending 80% of your time measuring success, beating the drum with executive and company news, coordinating in-demand content with distributed administrators, and executing more ways to improve communications and engagement.
How distributed administration works
Are you interested in seeing how an intranet with distributed administration works? Check out our Simpplr demo where you’ll see how easy and intuitive it is to administer a modern intranet: