When choosing an intranet company to partner with, the number of options out there can seem overwhelming. How do you know which vendor will provide the best intranet software for your business? Which intranet features are essential? And will the intranet be future-proof?
All of these questions, and more, should shape your decision making process. That way, you ensure your organisation partners with an intranet company that fits your needs.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together a plan for shortlisting your preferred intranet company:
1. Understand which company intranet software features you need
A good place to start when deciding which intranet company to choose is to look at the features they offer, and determine if these will help you reach your business goals. For example, if your priority is to improve internal communications, then look for intranet solutions that include communication tools and corporate social media features.
Similarly, if improving employee engagement is your aim, then shortlist modern intranets that give you the tools to deliver captivating employee experiences. Look for an intranet company that provides personalisation features, gamification elements, and collaboration spaces – these are the apps that will keep your employees engaged and ultimately boost company culture.
Or maybe enhancing knowledge across your company is the order of the day. If so, pick an intranet company that includes effective information and knowledge management tools, such as file sharing, document version control, and content management.
Whatever your business goals, it’s vital that your intranet will support them.
2. Choose an intranet company with flexible hosting options
The next step is to choose if you want to host your intranet in the cloud or on premise. Depending on your preference, this may filter out a lot of intranet companies who only provide one or the other (for the record, Claromentis provides both on-premise and cloud intranet hosting 😉 ).
Does your chosen intranet company provide flexible hosting options?
Choosing a cloud intranet can significantly reduce your IT and operations teams’ workloads, because the hosting, maintenance, and security is taken care of by the intranet company. Cloud hosting also enables your remote or field workers to seamlessly connect to your intranet, without the hassle of setting up a VPN.
That said, if locking down intranet access to your internal network is a priority, then you’ll want to choose an intranet company that offers on-premise hosting. This allows you to install the intranet on your own internal servers and manage aspects of security and external access yourself. So whilst there’s a lot of autonomy, you’ll need a dedicated IT team in house to help set this up.
3. Select a user-centric intranet company that places value on good UX
When all is said and done, your teams are the ones who will be using your corporate intranet on a daily basis – so it needs to be user friendly and easily accessible.
Whilst legacy company intranets were more focussed on data management and one-way internal communications than providing an engaging employee experience, modern intranets can benefit from the latest advances in technology and web design. This means that employees expect to use an interactive intranet that’s both practical and looks visually appealing.
Given that a good user experience (UX) is critical to the success of your employee intranet, you need to be on the hunt for an intranet company that can fulfil this criteria. Drag & drop content management software, customisable designs, and an intuitive mobile app are all good indicators that the vendor provides an intranet solution with an amazing user experience.
Example of intranet homepage created using Claromentis’ drag & drop content management system.
4. Be clear about the costs
By now, you may have a few intranet vendors on your shortlist. An important part of the selection process is to evaluate the different intranet pricing options each intranet company provides.
This may vary depending on your chosen hosting type. For instance, on-premise company intranets generally need a large, up-front cost, after which the software licence is yours. For some, this can be an economical way of purchasing an intranet but, for most, it’s too high an investment to make all at once. There is still the monthly or annual cost of a support and maintenance contract on top of this.
Cloud-hosted intranets, on the other hand, tend to be subscription based, which means you’ll be paying an ongoing monthly fee that covers the intranet software licence, hosting, technical support, maintenance, and updates. This is often a much simpler and affordable pricing option, because it spreads the costs and packages all services into one payment plan.
5. Check that the intranet company will grow with your business
And finally, it’s important to do your due diligence when assessing your chosen intranet company. Does their vision of the product align with your future business goals, or will they diverge in the future?
The digital workplace has transformed beyond recognition over the last few years (in fact, even in the past 18 months as a result of the pandemic) so it’s worth checking the company’s roadmap for future developments. Will they be forgoing knowledge management features in favour of new employee engagement tools, for example? Or perhaps they plan to stop supporting smaller customers and focus on large corporate intranet sales instead.
These are important points to understand, because these might affect the future of your intranet and digital workplace strategy – so don’t be afraid to question your selected intranet company!