Your Intranet: Putting You in the Driver's SeatJust like almost every other kid on the block, I remember always wanting a Ferrari. Specifically a red one. This obsession with SuperCars, embarrassingly enough, continues even to this day.
As great as these machines are, in my previous years I never really stopped to think about what kind of hassles I would run into if I owned one – speeding tickets, gas expenses, maintenance costs – each tire for a Bugatti costs about $10,000! Hardly standard operating costs. These cars are thrilling, but unfortunately they are not a good fit for my current lifestyle.
A few weeks ago my colleague Maz wrote an article on the dangers of implementing SharePoint without being informed of its potential drawbacks. To me, SharePoint is the hyped-up much talked about SuperCar intranet platform that looks shiny and promises companies amazing things. This causes organizations to jump into a SharePoint implementation blindly with two feet without first considering whether this platform is right for them, leading to the unfortunate consequences of the intranet equivalent of speeding tickets, gas expenses and extensive maintenance costs.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your new corporate intranet platform or software:
Focus on the Needs of Your Business
Simply owning a SuperCar isn’t going to make you a great driver. Creating a thriving business intranet solution is a great goal, but simply buying the most talked about platform to get you there isn’t going to win the race. The inside of a SharePoint SuperCar is incredibly complex, and if you don’t have the internal environment with the knowledge and time to take on this task, you’ll end up drowning in maintenance expenses from SharePoint Consultants.
Like bringing in your fancy car in for service, when you want to change something on your intranet and don’t have the in-house expertise you’ll need to spend money on consulting fees, which lead to more changes and more fees, which can quickly take you over and above your allotted budget (“I just came in for an oil change!”).
Ensure You’ve Got the Right Driver
If you want your corporate intranet to succeed, you’ll need a competent driver, or intranet champion. If your intranet champion has a highly complicated system to work with it’s going to make it harder on them to get employees on board. The key to employee engagement is simplicity – even if your driver is well versed in the SharePoint platform, if the intranet solution isn’t easy to use it is unlikely your employees will use it.
Uncomplicated applications encourage collaboration, employee engagement and intranet adoption. A system like SharePoint can be highly dependent on your end-users receiving training which can lead to further issues. If your training budget is depleted or the consultant isn’t available, the intimidation returns and employee participation hits a standstill.
Don’t Forget the Details
Intranet design is an extremely important aspect of your intranet – it is the first thing your employees see when they log into the intranet. How your intranet looks and how easy it is to find content on the site is key to a positive user experience and intranet longevity. Keeping the intranet fresh and updated helps to keep your employees engaged and maintains a positive user experience.
SuperCars are fancy. They are nice to look at and they go really, really fast. However, the cost is exponential and unless you want to dig deep into your pockets for an annual re-design you better like the initial look of your SharePoint implementation because it is going to look like that for a long time. One of the benefits of an out-of-the box solution is that re-designing is easy and can be done on a continuous basis, from the front-end of the software, with no IT experience required.
A Simple, Fully Functional SharePoint Alternative
At Intranet Connections we offer a fully functional, out-of-the box software that can be customized to meet the specific needs of your business without the added costs of architects and consultants. We value simplicity in both our software and in our pricing model, without hidden fees or added user costs. If you are wondering if an out-of-the-box solution may be right for your business, request a demo or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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