Intranet management usually falls on the shoulders of the IT team—or at least, it has done so historically. Modern intranet software, however, has advanced intranets into platforms that are easy to manage by people in non-technical roles, relieving the burden typically placed on the IT team.
Still, the IT department plays a key role in deploying an intranet in an organization, and any piece of software brought into the organization still needs to meet IT’s standards. As an IT professional involved in selecting and reviewing intranet software, you need to know what key features, capabilities, and integrations to be looking for.
Luckily, here at IC, we’ve been partnering with IT since 1999, and are here to help. In this blog series, based on our free Modern Intranet Guide for IT eBook, we’ll help you evaluate the best intranet for IT.
What IT should know about shopping for intranet software
Evaluating new software for your organization is always a complex task. While HR and other departments may be focusing on how to ensure the new channel is adopted by the workplace, as IT, you likely will have different priorities.
IT wants to make sure the new digital workspace tool complies with industry regulations, is easy to use by all staff members, and is easy to manage and govern by people with limited technical knowledge. It’s important to address all these concerns when shopping for an intranet, and any intranet vendor worth their salt will have clear and proven answers.
Onboarding new intranet software is not just an IT task
IT plays an essential role during the onboarding process for new intranet software. However, with an out-of-the-box solution, IT plays a smaller role than if the intranet was in-house or SharePoint based.
When onboarding a purpose-built intranet solution, you’ll notice that your expertise is required less on things like coding the backend. That means, during the onboarding process, you can continue to focus on non-intranet related tasks—and leave large parts of the intranet onboarding to HR, marketing, and comms.
A purpose-built intranet means you can ensure compliance
When you buy an intranet that was purpose-built for the financial sector, you’re getting important compliancy features right out of the box. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires logging all communications, which your intranet will automatically do. Effective security measures are also built right in, meaning you can rest assured that the data on your intranet is safe and secure—whether you’re hosting in-cloud or on-premise.
Tip: make sure, while evaluating intranet vendors, that their software is audited and certified by SOC2 and ISO27001.
How your new out-of-the-box intranet can support IT
When you consider the strategy for the intranet, it’s also worth thinking about how the intranet can support the IT team and its aims. Intranets can provide significant value for IT functions by:
- Providing information on how to use applications and carry out processes, encouraging a self-service approach to solving IT problems, and taking pressure off the IT support desk.
- Providing a central directory of tools and applications for employees to reach the systems they need.
- Promoting new applications and supporting launch campaigns.
- Encouraging employees to submit tickets to report IT issues.
- Making announcements, for example, upcoming outages on the intranet for IT.
- And more!
The elephant in the room: is SharePoint the best intranet for IT?
A question that IT teams selecting intranet software consider is whether their intranet should be based on SharePoint or not.
SharePoint has dominated the intranet world for over two decades, and many intranets use it as their base technology. Subsequently, many intranet products are either based on SharePoint or work alongside it and are usually reliant on having SharePoint in place. Some organizations are even using SharePoint Online straight out of the box, although this has several limitations that many find frustrating. At the same time, a high number of products are wholly independent of SharePoint and do not rely on it. Intranet Connections is a third category in that it is not reliant on SharePoint and is independent of it but can integrate with SharePoint and, in some ways, offers “the best of both worlds.”
Some resources to help you on your buyer’s journey
As you begin your buyer’s journey for a new out-of-the-box intranet for IT, these resources may come in handy. Download them all for free:
- Including an RFP Template and slide deck to help you present your intranet business case to your organization.