Special Section | The 2nd Pillar: The Intranet
After analyzing the Team Messaging, now places to the 2nd pillar of our special section on the 4 pillars of collaboration: the intranet! A veritable monument in the digital world, since it is the first collaborative tool to have seen the light within organizations almost twenty years ago. Let’s take a look back at the one that is considered today as the oldest of collaborative tools.
If there is one tool that no longer needs to be presented, it is the intranet. Appeared almost 20 years ago within organizations, The intranet has enabled digital tools to take their first steps in the professional world. Today, collaborative tools are legion, as well as the uses they offer to employees. This wasn’t the case at the time: the intranet was simply a unique tool and the only one to allow such a level of communication in the digital world. Its pioneering status enabled it to establish its reputation as a pillar of collaboration to the point where it is still in the game 20 years later.
But what about today? What are the reasons why the intranet is still relevant today?
Get out your magnifying glass and let’s go together to discover the intranet and its secrets!
The Advantages of the Second Pillar
A Unified Communication
Let's proceed as we did with the team messaging and talk directly about the strength of our pillar! Unlike chatops, the intranet does not shine by its speed but by its ability to unify the communication of an entire organization. ✊ As an internal informatic network specific to a organization, the intranet allows the users to communicate the information of their choice in a unique place. It is divided into different parts and sub-parts (according to the desires of its users), each part being dedicated to a type of information: the company newsletter, the video of the month, the arrival of new collaborators and many others!
The advantage of such a system is clear: all information, whatever its type, is centralized in a single place accessible by all employees. The information never disperses: all your employees are housed in the same place and know where to go to be informed about the life of the organization.
A tool in the colors of your companys
The advantages of being the first to arrive is that you have time to evolve and offer new things over time! Intranet is no exception and personalizing your intranet according to your organization's codes is now the norm. Corporate identity, style guide, logo and personalized name of the network: intranet has the advantage to make the users feels like home (in a professional way, of course 😉).
As we already say, the final goal of a collaborative tool is to be adopted by the greatest number of people. Allowing users to group themselves together in a tool with corporate identity is an undeniable bonus. This makes the tool appear to employees not as an additional feature but as an extension of their organization, which will encourage them to enter the intranet, to use it and ultimately to appropriate it in the long term.
A more than affordable financial cost
The analysis is clear: the intranet is the only tool to compete the team messaging in terms of investment costs. Bringing all your collaborators together in a unique tool will simply allow you to put all the other tools you have been using until now to one side. No need to pay 5 different tools: your communication is now done through only one tool and that makes the difference in terms of money spent.
Using an intranet means reducing internal management costs by centralizing resources, employees and therefore costs!
The Disadvantages of the Second Pillar
Being able to distribute information of its choice to all the collaborators in the same time is a dream come true! 🤩 But as you now, relying on the advantages of a tool requires accepting its disadvantages as well! First disadvantage of the irreplaceable intranet: this accessibility. While a team social network or team messaging system can be accessed at any time of the day or night, the intranet only opens its doors at a fixed time!
What can clearly be a problem: need to get a colleague's file from the document bank after office hours? 🤔 You'll have to be patient and wait until the next day. At a time when all systems want to be more and more accessible and fast, the intranet is a bit old-fashioned in this aspect 😉
The routine of tidy communication
This is the greatest danger to which our dear pillar is subjected: that it may be deserted. The intranet is the best place to get the information about a company. But its tidy side and the information consumption habits it imposes can ultimately be so counterproductive that your employees may be tempted to look elsewhere.
Indeed, the risk is to see your collaborators getting bored of the boss’s video and the perpetual internal newsletter. This will result in them using other information tools in parallel to the intranet (the famous IT shadow 😨).
A small hole in the well-oiled system of the intranet that can, in time, turn into a multitude of gaps: you will find yourself with a single communication tool, certainly... but also with several unofficial systems on the side that will weaken your entire communication.
Its tidy side and the information consumption habits it imposes can ultimately be so counterproductive that your employees may be tempted to look elsewhere.
Collaboration is not its strong point
You have understood it: the intranet is the best tool to bring together all members of a organization under a common communication banner. But there is one aspect on which the intranet does not shine as brightly as its counterparts: collaborative features. The corporate social network, for example, offer many functionalities designed to exchange and share information with its collaborators. Team Messaging can be connected to other solutions and Digital Workplace is nothing less than a unified set of tools. ✊ These are all solutions capable of offering their users a wide range of features to better meet their daily needs.
On the contrary, the intranet fails to provide answers to its uses. Its main utility remains and will remain linked to communication: a field in which it simply excels, but which does not meet the transversal needs of today's employees.
The intranet has been around longer than any other collaborative tool in the digital world. It has stood the test of time and survived the arrival of more and more competitors. The reason for this is its ability to unify an organization's communication by adopting its corporate identity and changing its form according to the vision of its users. A quality of choice at a time when promoting the adoption of a collaborative tool remains a problem for many organizations.
On the other hand, the second pillar does not shine as brightly on the collaboration side 🤝: its collaborative features are few and far between and respond very little to the business uses of employees. The intranet is therefore above all a communication tool for the entire organization. Individuals will find more benefit from the corporate social network.
A tool that we will have the pleasure of analyzing in the rest of our section! 😉