What three features do users expect in a ‘modern’ Company Intranet?

What three features do users expect in a ‘modern’ Company Intranet?

The release of SharePoint 2013 has many IT managers pondering the benefits of upgrading their various SharePoint systems.

In truth most will keep with existing 2007 and 2010 installations, at least until the first service pack for 2013 becomes available. But for others, a new SharePoint presents an opportunity to refresh or replace their company Intranet systems.

SharePoint 2013 offers a host of new features that could be used in these projects. But before you do anything, you should be asking yourself what users actually need. Going further, a good company Intranet design should consider what users now expect from their Intranets. How has the wider web and technology in general, influenced end users' views? What impact has Facebook, LinkedIn, even Amazon, had?

Let’s look at three features a typical user might expect to see in a new company Intranet:

1. Mobile intranet access

With the sheer volume of iPads, iPhones, and Android devices out there, the mobile Internet is impossible to ignore. No self-respecting website would consider launching without a mobile version, or more likely without using responsive design techniques (where the site adapts to the device viewing it). Your Intranet should be no different, and SharePoint 2013 provides a number of new mobile features to help in this area.

2. A social element

‘Social’ on Intranets used to mean throwing in a discussion board or two at the end of the project. Happily things have moved on. Facebook, and a myriad of other sites and services, have changed what ‘social’ means forever. ‘Facebook for the Intranet’ is not necessarily always the answer, but certainly the Intranet should now be facilitating some kind of user interaction. Microsoft has purchased Yammer to improve SharePoint in this area, although the current release includes lots of social goodness already.

3. Intranet Integration

Users are now comfortable in a world where their iPhone connects to their Facebook account. A world where they can tweet directly from LinkedIn, or easily sync all of their home computers to share files. Users expect systems to integrate, and the Company Intranet should be no different. This means ‘single sign on’ across multiple systems, contact information pulled directly from HR tools, and maybe even content sourced from the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn.

Ralph James Project Manager

Ralph is a Project Manager for BrightStarr and has worked in the IT industry for 20 years. He has experience managing a wide variety of projects in his time, not just in IT, and has notably worked on a project to put unmanned air vehicles in the skies above the democratic republic of Congo, keeping track of warring tribal factions for the UN. Keen for a new challenge, he made the move to BrightStarr in 2014.

His excellent communication skills enable him to be the connection between IT professionals and senior business stakeholders, a key aspect of effective SharePoint and enterprise technology solutions.

Ralph is one of BrightStarr's tallest employees at 6ft 2in and has participated in multiple triathlons.

Related Tags
Twitter Feed

Where Next? Relevant Stories and Insights.

Can your intranet drive innovation?
Can your intranet drive innovation?
Can intranets help how companies innovate? That was the question posed to a panel of industry experts at our BrightStarr seminar on ‘What makes an award-winning intranet?'
You don't need a SharePoint Intranet
You don't need a SharePoint Intranet
Many employees will only have a rudimentary understanding of 'the cloud' from the consumer world and services such as iCloud, Dropbox and maybe Office apps. They only know SharePoint as 'that place where we [are supposed to] store documents... right?'
How Cloud & Mobile Support Intranet Adoption
How Cloud & Mobile Support Intranet Adoption
There is a huge amount of interest at the moment in enabling greater access to company data and capitalizing on intranet investments. Making best use of cloud technologies in conjunction with supporting a diverse range of devices is key to this goal.