Intranets from the beginning
Intranets have been around in the workplace for a long time, and have come a very long way since their initial implementation. The first intranets were certainly different from how we know and use them today, and originally consisted of static webpages for the purposes of providing information to staff members. Fast forward a few years, and intranets evolved into a more substantial solution, mainly focusing on email and internal communication services, document sharing, and a contacts directory.
Intranets were traditionally a corporate entity, focusing mainly on providing employees with a platform for accessing information quickly. Furthermore, company intranets were also generally proprietary, with intranets requiring a specialised suite of applications being installed and accessed only within the company’s network, making them rather difficult to manage and maintain.
The surge of popularity of the internet sparked a revolution in the intranet industry, changing the way companies used them. Intranets began to be accessible and managed online, rather than tied down to a company’s individual infrastructure, making them easier to manage and customise.
With the advancements of intranet technology and ability, so too do the intranet user’s expectations change. Users expect immediacy, efficiency, and autonomy. Trying to keep users’ attention and engagement is now one of the most important challenges businesses face when rolling out their intranet. So how can this be improved?
One solution is to start considering intranet users as consumers, in order to understand and deliver their expectations. This makes things a lot easier, as it changes the focus from a corporate to a consumer mind-set.
The creation of a digital workplace
This is where intranets start to become a digital workplace, where features such as data storage, information sharing, increased productivity, collaboration, innovation, and social interaction are merged into one complete and comprehensive solution. A digital workplace can also be portable, allowing users to take their work wherever they go, allowing for total autonomy. Furthermore, by bringing in collaborative and social tools, company intranets start to be a fun and creative place to be, where user collaboration is not only encouraged, but productivity is also increased.
These features are what an external consumer would expect as standard from a software solution, and by applying these to an internal environment, user experience is improved, and engagement and participation is increased.
Want to see how far intranets have come? Try our free digital workplace demo today!