Buying company software is no walk in the park. It’s a rigorous exercise that could have serious blowback if not handled carefully. Intranet solutions are no exception.
The global enterprise collaboration software market is estimated to grow from USD 47.2 billion in 2021 to USD 85.8 billion by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7%, according to the latest figures from Markets and Markets. As the report puts it, “Growing demand for real-time and remote collaboration tools, adoption of cloud-based services to accelerate collaboration, demand for a workplace connectivity platform, need for project and task management solutions, and need to increase competitive advantage are expected to be the major factors driving the growth.”
(Image source: marketsandmarkets.com)
To help you understand why your company needs a solid intranet solution, we’ve highlighted the top 4 questions you need to ask yourself while buying company software and the benefits of getting the right solution for your business.
Questions to ask yourself before buying company intranet software
Your intranet software vendor should be able and willing to provide tangible feedback to these four questions.
Q1. How will the intranet solution improve productivity and collaboration?
The intranet platform needs to align with your overall strategy and goals. If one of your objectives is to improve employee productivity, collaboration, and engagement, your intranet vendor needs to integrate all your third-party communication tools and social networks into the intranet system. Unifying your communication tools into one portal improves productivity, efficiency, and service speed.
Examples of metrics to measure intranet ROI include reduced tickets, reduced time-to-market for new features, and increased cross-functional collaboration.
Q2. What are the fixed and recurring costs?
Asking this question will help you plan your long-term expenditure and avoid hidden costs that some rogue vendors tend to add when they sign a contract.
A professional intranet partner aligns their costs to your objectives and expectations because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, you need a flexible solution that adjusts to your budget, growth, and market conditions.
So, the first step to budgeting for intranet software is discussing the current problems you face and your business goals. This information is what your intranet vendor should use to create a ballpark Intranet Platform quotation so you can understand the investment required.
From there, you can customise the budget to fit your preference. Remember, the essential point is to work with a flexible intranet partner who’s not simply looking to make a sale but actually wants to deliver value to your company.
Of course, there will be additional expenses as your business scales up. Discuss future expectations and how additional costs will be factored into the agreement. This step prevents unnecessary disagreements and possible litigation due to unspoken expectations.
Q3. How long does the implementation process take, and will this disrupt operations?
Ensure you get a step-by-step implementation plan from the vendor that indicates the time required for installation and going live, downtime expected, additional resources required, IT hardware requirements, and any other factors relevant to the transition process. The vendor also needs to provide a backup plan to ensure communication and collaboration continue in case of a system glitch.
Q4. How will the intranet solution integrate into the existing landscape?
All companies have different work tools that cut across functions, roles, and locations. However, most organisations deal with a cluttered digital workspace that requires employees to switch between applications and devices to get work done.
Intranet software centralises all your work tools in an easy to navigate and customisable portal. The software should integrate your third-party apps seamlessly, both through cloud and on-premises. Integration also means the intranet system should cut across devices and provide mobile app accessibility.
Intranet software should integrate seamlessly with your third-party apps
Other questions to ask yourself before engaging an intranet vendor include:
- What security measures does the platform offer to protect your company’s assets?
- Do they offer round-the-clock customer service support?
- What are their client success stories?
- Is the company’s team well-trained to handle complex technical issues?
- Do they have the necessary certifications and regulatory approvals?
- Do they offer both on-premise and cloud based intranet software?
Benefits of implementing company intranet software tools
These are the tangible benefits an intranet software provides:
Streamlines business processes: a centralised portal to access any business application streamlines operations and removes silos within your organisation. Tracing and resolving issues are much easier when you have a single repository that houses all other business tools.
Increased agility and scalability: your company responds to growth opportunities faster and with little downtime when resources and tools are easily accessible from one platform.
Improves knowledge sharing: a company intranet serves as a powerful eLearning platform, as well as a centralised hub for sharing company information, insights, learning resources, updates, and so much more.
Enhancing your company’s brand: a great intranet tool is a powerful communication portal to reinforce brand image, company values and company culture.
Simplifies talent onboarding: the company intranet is a great onboarding platform that’s easily accessible – even to remote hires. Simplify the onboarding process by providing company information, code of conduct, and relevant information to new employees directly via your intranet.
It’s a great tool to highlight employee achievements: boosting productivity involves highlighting good performance and achievements. Use the intranet platform to broadcast achievements both in work and extracurricular activities. It’s a well-suited tool to steer your company’s culture in the right direction and ensure consistently high performance.
Reduces unnecessary meetings: intranet integration with third-party tools can considerably reduce time wasted in unnecessary meetings. Teams can easily videoconference and collaborate in real-time while sharing documents in one platform, without leaving their workstations. The net effect is better time management.
Improves document management: A critical factor in streamlining communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing is document management. Having a unified portal reduces document duplication and simplifies file sorting, archiving and data destruction.