Photo of someone using a laptop
Today's intranets let your workers share information to collaborate on projects and better serve customers. PHOTO: Nattanan Kanchanaprat

The intranet has evolved within the modern workplace, transcending its role as a relatively simple internal publishing platform and centralized location to store information.

Businesses, if they aren’t already, need to quickly move beyond that simple intranet concept. 

Designed and used advantageously, an intranet is your business’ primary means of optimizing coordination and collaboration among employees, a key driver of digital transformation where needed and, ultimately, an enabler of superior customer experiences.

A winning — and lasting — strategy for the modern digital workplace calls for an organization’s many (often disparate) systems, tools, policies, processes and content to be tightly integrated to provide employees access to the right information and capabilities at the right moment.

The modern intranet should sit at the center of all this. Employees can work more efficiently because the tools and processes they need are centralized and readily accessible. A well-designed intranet lets employees work more effectively because they’re armed with unified data concerning their customers, regardless of where, when or how that information was collected.

Data Integration Over Bloat

While an effective intranet should collect and present the information and tools that employees need to do their jobs well, it doesn’t need to be a jack-of-all-trades type of platform. Simply placing everything available within an intranet makes for a cluttered and cumbersome tool that hampers productivity.

More does not necessarily mean better. Building an intranet that simply attaches different tools together into an unwieldy and Frankenstein-esque patchwork will not deliver expected gains in efficiency.

Instead, a strategy that streamlines employee activity requires disparate tools to be assembled thoughtfully and orchestrated to function in harmony with one another. For example, an intranet strategy should include capabilities such as a single sign-on to access integrated tools and information, as well as a convenient interface for making the most of these coordinated capabilities.

Collaborating for a Unified Customer Experience

In today’s workplace, the intranet needs to be a seamless facilitator of employee collaboration. This is especially helpful innurturing customer relationships and understanding each customer’s needs to deliver personalized experiences.

An intranet structured to support collaboration will ensure that employees have fast access to each customer’s interaction history with a company, and even provide a profile of every individual’s progress along the customer journey.

By providing a single view of the customer, modern intranets enhance customer service, enabling you to interact with customers across all points of contact with a single voice. For example, a customer may raise an issue with a brand’s social media account on Twitter, and later call that business’ customer support number. Empowered by an intranet that collects information on these interactions and ensures that data is instantly available, the call support employee doesn’t have to start at square one with that customer, but can efficiently jump into the active conversation and work to resolve the issue in progress.

At the same time, this easily accessible, intranet-based data can inform different teams and ensure everyone is on the same page as they collaborate on other initiatives such as marketing campaigns and optimizations to service practices.

Your Intranet Should Drive Digital Transformation

While many companies cling to a misconception that digital transformation is primarily focused on frontend customer experiences, it is much more than that. Operational excellence across the company underpins every brand experience that a customer encounters.

Modern intranets serve as essential components within a company’s operational architecture. They should increase efficiency, coordination and collaboration within and across all departments — anywhere that opportunities are recognized.

Intranets ought to play a critical role in delivering digital information and capabilities that help everyone in an organization further customer-centric cooperation and innovation.

The intranets of the modern digital workplace have come a long way and now do a lot more than share documents. If your company is not there yet, now is  the time to implement an intranet strategy that allows employees to use digital tools and data, work together efficiently and do their best by the customer.