Intranet requirements typically found in large enterprises
Naturally, when a larger enterprise is planning to invest in an intranet, the requirements list is long and holds some truly complex needs. A fitting description of the procurement process could be “the hunt for a customized, secure, non-interrupted, and 24/7 supported corporate-wide communication-focused intranet as a service from a solid long-term vendor.”
In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common requirements typically found within this type of organization, covering user experience, communication capabilities, and IT requirements.
Deliver an engaging and appealing user experience
The first group of requirements is regarding the user experience covering some basic aspects of an intranet.
A must-have requirement for a large enterprise intranet is a great user experience. The solution must be intuitive with a user-friendly interface and easy to navigate and understand. The possibility to set up and manage a variety of navigation components is a priority, making it easy for employees to find the information they need and complete tasks quickly.
Since this type of organization generates a vast amount of web pages, documents, collaboration teams, and other content the intranet must have a robust search experience. Based on requirements lists from larger enterprises the search functionality should include search categories and refiners for narrowing the scope, promoted results, a customizable results page with a preview of search hits, possibility to improve search based on analytics and user feedback.
Also due to the abundance of information, a large enterprise intranet must be personalized to deliver the right information to the right user at the right time. So, the use of targeting, subscriptions, mandatory read, personalized navigation, and notifications can not be exaggerated.
Naturally, the intranet needs to be visually appealing and based on corporate design guidelines, from the overall color palette to using a purchased font. It is also common that this type of organization need not one, but several, solutions that should mirror different brands.
To help win user buy-in, the solution needs to hold features and concepts that engage end users. This can include knowledge-sharing communities, discussions and social reactions, gamification and acknowledgment of employees, rich user profile cards, polls and surveys, learning resources, and support for ideation.
Mobile and frontline
In today's mobile-first world, it is of course a must-have requirement that the mobile experience is top-notch. During the last couple of years, we have also seen that many larger enterprises prioritize to not only reach white collar employees but also frontline workers. To accommodate that the intranet needs to be accessible for employees no matter if they have a Microsoft 365 license or not, and the organization also needs to implement a strategy regarding how to provide devices to match this (perhaps shared devices or a BYOD policy).
The modern communication platform
Since the main purpose of the intranet most likely is communications-related, there will be plenty of requirements within this area – and some of these will be truly complex.
To be able to handle the ever-growing amount of intranet content, communication in the larger enterprise is built on a sound governance concept. Therefore, a must-have requirement is to accommodate the possibility to define categories of web pages, documents, collaboration teams, and communities and to connect information policies to each of these. The policies might include layouts and templates, properties, and settings regarding approval, review, or archiving.
The large enterprise intranet will most likely need to be a solution that can have support for handling multiple languages, both for the application and for content. To handle this in an effective way, the platform must be available in all relevant languages and have support for handling language variations of the published content. Also, the intranet should include support for translation workflows and machine translation.
When the information policies are in place, the large enterprise will have the need to serve both once-in-a-while publishers and the advanced editors with communication as part of their role description. So, the intranet should provide an easy-to-use publishing experience – but also provide access to more advanced tools regarding media handling, targeting, read receipts, language variations, translation support, and reusable content.
To manage communications within the larger enterprise, the intranet should have an editorial hub that can work as a centerpiece for planning, producing, publishing, and following up on publishing and communication activities. Such a dashboard should incorporate metrics on recently published news and pages, a publishing calendar, and reports on content that needs someone’s attention (approval, review, under-used, etc.).
Within the larger enterprise, it is a priority to publish content once, but to be able to get the message out in several channels. This can include publishing a news article to several locations within the intranet (news center, start page, notification panel, locations page, etc.). But also making the content available also in an extranet, in Microsoft Teams and Yammer, for mobile app users, via e-mail newsletters, and within a digital signage platform.
The intranet should have analytics and reporting capabilities that allow the enterprise to track usage, engagement, and other metrics. Analytics and reporting provide insights into the effectiveness of the intranet, allowing the larger enterprise to make data-driven decisions and improve the intranet's functionality and content.
A secure and non-interrupted platform
As you would guess, the IT function will have a lot to say when it comes to selecting platforms and products for a new intranet – and below you will find some of the more common requirements.
Secure and scalable
Large enterprises need intranets that can scale to meet the needs of their growing workforce. But an even more important priority is – of course – security. The intranet must be protected from unauthorized access via two-factor user authentication, role-based access control, data encryption, and regular vulnerability assessments. The intranet must also comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA.
Customize and integrate
The intranet should be customizable to meet the specific needs of the enterprise. Customization allows the intranet to be tailored to the organization's business processes and requirements and allows for the inclusion of specific features and functionality required by the enterprise. Such features can be integrations with other software and systems used by the enterprise, including ERP, CRM, HRM systems, and more.
Handle complex infrastructure
Within most larger enterprises, you will find a complex infrastructure developed during a longer time period and including several legacy systems. Therefore, the intranet must be able to handle common requirements from the IT function such as:
- Managing an intranet spanning several Microsoft 365 tenants.
- Ability to decide on a custom URL for the intranet.
- Providing a white-labeled mobile app.
- Enhanced Azure AD synchronization.
- User management for users that do not have a Microsoft 365 account.
- Support for a BOYD policy with Mobile Device Management.
- Possibility to add co-dev features to the product/platform.
Customized hosting and support
The intranet should be delivered as a service within a secure hosting facility, with the possibility to choose between vendor cloud, customer cloud, or on-premise. The release schedule for product updates must be possible to customize and support should be available across all time zones.
Intranets are essential to the success of large enterprises – and common requirements within this type of organization include aspects such as user experience, communication capabilities, and compliance with IT requirements. When a larger enterprise is planning to invest in an intranet, this is a fitting description of what they are looking for: “A customized, secure, non-interrupted, and 24/7 supported corporate-wide communication-focused intranet as a service from a solid long-term vendor”.
Since Omnia is designed and developed to deliver on the complex intranet requirements that are common within larger organizations, the product caters to all the requirements above – and much more. If you wish to learn more about how Omnia compares to your specific needs – please contact us to set up a demo and discussions meeting.