When corporate intranets were first introduced in the 1990s, it gave employees a single place to access company information and computing resources, specifically, their business apps. But, as companies moved beyond the corporate headquarters and towards a digital workplace strategy, embracing technologies such as cloud, mobile apps, and enterprise social, the role of the corporate intranet has diminished.
So the real question: Are intranets still relevant?
The Digital Workplace Group defines a digital workplace as “the intranet, plus other connected enterprise systems”. While it’s true the digital workplace is tied to the intranet in many ways, the concept of the digital workplace is much bigger than any one technology. Case in point, according to Gartner, the digital workplace “enables new, more effective ways of working; raises employee engagement and agility; and exploits consumer-oriented styles and technologies”.
Some argue that because of the rising adoption of the digital workplace, intranets are no longer needed. Why? Because essential systems now exist that fulfill the business needs or use cases within an organization, diminishing the problems that intranets used to solve. However, most industry experts claim that intranets are now more important than ever and should be at the front and center of every digital workspace.
The reality is that the corporate intranet plays an essential role in keeping employees informed. Whether as a standalone tool or as part of a larger digital workplace strategy, the intranet’s ability to improve and enhance employee productivity, satisfaction, and engagement is the primary reason it still remains necessary.
The shift to a digital workplace strategy doesn’t mean you need to kill off your corporate intranet
The digital workplace idea has slowly emerged as a priority for IT leaders, as most organizations have struggled to adapt to evolving work styles, anywhere work expectations, and an increasingly tech-savvy workforce. In addition, there are huge demands to increase productivity while keeping costs low—a combination that makes it difficult for employees to keep up, leading to constant employee frustrations. For most companies, the push to build a digital workplace is to find ways improve communication, collaboration, and business processes.
So what changes for your company intranet? It may surprise you to hear—not much.
The idea that the intranet will connect employees to their business systems and provide them with important information won’t be changing, but the way that employees interact with the intranet will. According to a CMSWire report, the real value of an intranet is how the solution is integrated into an organization’s digital workplace and the day-to-day role it has for employees.
This is where Sapho Employee Experience Portal comes in. Sapho acts as a digital hub that sits within the corporate intranet and connects employees to the latest internal information and their enterprise systems—whether legacy, on-premises, or SaaS—but in a better way than before.
Here are three ways Sapho delivers a next-generation intranet:
- Delivers important information so employees don’t have to look for it
Sapho provides fast access to information and systems without sending employees out to additional systems. Instead of being directed to applications that store the data employees are looking for, Sapho proactively delivers relevant data to specific users on directly in the company intranet.
- Brings workflows to employees, instead of forcing them to find them
The intranet should not just function as a hub for communication, it should also aggregate important tasks and allow employees to take action regardless of the application required. With Sapho, employees can access their personalized workflows, such as submitting PTO requests or completing PO approvals, from all of their systems directly in the corporate intranet and take action with a single click.
- Keeps employees informed and engaged with personalized experiences
Traditionally, intranets were used to push out company information. Unfortunately, employees had to remember to check them and then weed through irrelevant information to find what they were looking for. With Sapho, only personalized information and workflows are sent to employees, keeping them up-to-date with the information that matters most.
The intranet is essential to the modern digital workplace. At Sapho, our goal is to help enterprises transform the corporate intranet as well as the endpoints that employees use every day, such as mobile devices and messenger clients, into a modern intranet that delivers more consistent, actionable applications experiences than they ever thought possible.