A Comprehensive Guide to Intranet Design & Development
In today’s digital age, having an efficient and user-friendly intranet is crucial for organizations to streamline communication, collaboration, and information sharing among employees. SharePoint, a web-based collaborative platform, is widely used for intranet design and development due to its robust features and flexibility. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of designing and developing an intranet using SharePoint, including outsourcing SharePoint development and custom SharePoint development options.
Understanding SharePoint Intranet
SharePoint is a powerful platform developed by Microsoft that allows organizations to create and manage their intranet websites. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities, including document management, team collaboration, content publishing, and business intelligence. SharePoint can be deployed both on-premise and online, providing organizations with flexibility in choosing the deployment option that best suits their needs.
Intranet Design Best Practices
Designing an effective intranet requires careful planning and consideration of user needs and organizational goals. Here are some best practices to keep in mind during the intranet design process:
- Define clear objectives and goals for the intranet
- Create a user-friendly and intuitive navigation structure
- Ensure consistent branding and design elements
- Optimize the intranet for mobile devices
- Provide easy access to relevant information and resources
- Implement search functionality to facilitate content discovery
- Include social collaboration features to encourage employee engagement
- Regularly review and update the intranet based on user feedback
Intranet Development Process
The development process for a SharePoint intranet typically involves the following steps:
- Requirement gathering: Understand the organization’s needs and objectives for the intranet.
- Information architecture: Define the site structure, navigation, and content organization.
- Design and branding: Create a visually appealing and consistent design that aligns with the organization’s brand.
- Development and customization: Build and customize the intranet using SharePoint’s features and functionalities.
- Testing and quality assurance: Ensure the intranet functions properly and meets the organization’s requirements.
- Deployment and training: Roll out the intranet to users and provide training on its usage.
- Ongoing maintenance and support: Regularly update and maintain the intranet to ensure optimal performance.
Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Outsourcing SharePoint development can be a cost-effective and efficient option for organizations that do not have in-house expertise or resources to develop their intranet. By partnering with a SharePoint development agency, organizations can leverage the agency’s expertise and experience to design and develop a customized intranet that meets their specific needs. Outsourcing SharePoint development also allows organizations to focus on their core business activities while leaving the technical aspects to the experts.
Custom SharePoint Development
Custom SharePoint development involves tailoring the platform to meet the unique requirements of an organization. This can include developing custom workflows, integrating third-party applications, and creating custom web parts. Custom SharePoint development allows organizations to extend the platform’s capabilities and create a highly customized intranet that aligns with their business processes and workflows.
Managed SharePoint Services
Managed SharePoint services provide organizations with ongoing support and maintenance for their intranet. This includes regular updates, bug fixes, performance monitoring, and user support. By outsourcing the management of their SharePoint intranet to a managed services provider, organizations can ensure the intranet remains secure, up-to-date, and optimized for performance.
Designing and developing an intranet using SharePoint requires careful planning, consideration of user needs, and adherence to best practices. Whether organizations choose to develop their intranet in-house or outsource SharePoint development to a specialized agency, the end result should be a user-friendly and efficient intranet that enhances communication, collaboration, and information sharing among employees.