Intranets and internal social networks offer new ways to communicate and collaborate within a company. The deployment of internal platforms of this type is no longer restricted to large companies, as nowadays flexible solutions (in terms of costs and operating modes) exists for small and medium structures (SOHO and SMEs). What are the benefits of an intranet site or internal social network? What type of media can be shared? What solution exists and how to ensure the ROI?
The deployment of an intranet or enterprise social network can address several issues:
Better communication: facilitate the exchange of information between employees and make information available at a company-wide level.
Encourage employees to take initiative: highlight the performances of employees in their professional duties.
Create link between employees: facilitate interaction between employees by opening a section dedicated to activities such as "carpooling" or "sports".
Offer a collaborative space: offer employees a place where they can discuss the progress of their projects, and share ideas or suggestions.
Support employee mobility
An intranet or internal social network allows remote employees, clients, and business partners to keep in touch with the company:
-Promote the development of telecommuting.
-Support employees in their business trips.
-Offer remote support for employees on the move.
Intranet or corporate social network?
The internal platform can either be developed in the form of an intranet or internal social network. Its "shape" will primarily depend on the role it needs to perform, its functionalities and also on how it interacts with the other resources that may exist within the company (the existence of collaborative or cloud tools, internal forums, private discussion groups on public social networks ...).
Costs and implementation
The cost will primarily depend on the type of solution chosen (free, budget based or custom). Of course one should also take into account the time required to "train" employees to use the new system and the resources required to maintain it.
What features should be deployed?
- Sharing and transfer of documents,
- Search engine,
- Internal messaging and/or online discussion,
- Forums and discussion spaces,
- News and information.
Keep in mind that most, if not all of your employees have already been introduced to social networking (Twitter, Facebook, Google +...). They are more likely to be appealed by a tool that offer similar features.
Deploying an internal platform - what are the steps?
An intranet or a corporate social network can be a valuable asset for the company. But prior to the launch of such project the following question should be answered: What information will be shared on the platform? What are the needs in terms of access and security? Should the platform be accessible by employees on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets ...)?
-Determine your needs and set the objectives for the platform.
-Determine who will be involved in the development and implementation of the platform.
-Define features and tools that will be available on the platform.
-Maintaining the platform (animation, update and maintenance).
These steps must be accompanied by the establishment of a solid security policy. This includes securing remote access, encryption of sensitive and personal information shared or stored on the intranet and protection against piracy.
Tools to develop an internal collaborative platform: