Building a Successful Intranet Development Strategy: A Roadmap
In today’s digital age, having a well-designed and functional intranet is crucial for organizations to streamline communication, collaboration, and information sharing among employees. An intranet serves as a centralized hub where employees can access important documents, company news, and collaborate on projects. SharePoint, a powerful platform developed by Microsoft, is widely used for intranet development due to its robust features and flexibility.
The Benefits of SharePoint Intranet
SharePoint offers numerous benefits for organizations looking to develop an intranet. Some of the key advantages include:
- Centralized Information: SharePoint allows organizations to store and organize all their important documents and information in one central location, making it easy for employees to find what they need.
- Collaboration: SharePoint provides a range of collaboration tools, such as document co-authoring, version control, and team sites, enabling employees to work together more efficiently.
- Customization: SharePoint offers extensive customization options, allowing organizations to tailor their intranet to their specific needs and branding.
- Security: SharePoint provides robust security features, ensuring that sensitive company information is protected and only accessible to authorized personnel.
Creating a Roadmap for Intranet Development
Developing a successful intranet requires careful planning and a well-defined roadmap. Here are the key steps to consider:
1. Define Your Objectives
Before starting the development process, it’s important to clearly define your objectives for the intranet. What specific problems are you trying to solve? What goals do you want to achieve? Identifying your objectives will help guide the development process and ensure that the intranet meets your organization’s needs.
2. Assess Your Current Infrastructure
Next, assess your current infrastructure to determine if it can support a SharePoint intranet. Consider factors such as server capacity, network bandwidth, and software compatibility. If necessary, make any necessary upgrades or changes to ensure a smooth implementation.
3. Plan Your Information Architecture
Information architecture refers to the organization and structure of your intranet content. Plan how you want to categorize and organize your documents, pages, and other content to ensure easy navigation and findability for employees. Consider creating a taxonomy or metadata system to enhance searchability.
4. Design and Customize Your Intranet
Designing and customizing the look and feel of your intranet is an important step in creating a user-friendly and visually appealing platform. Consider your organization’s branding guidelines and design a layout that reflects your company’s identity. SharePoint offers a range of customization options, including themes, templates, and web parts.
5. Develop and Test
Once the design is finalized, it’s time to develop and test your intranet. This involves building the necessary site structures, configuring permissions, and integrating any third-party tools or applications. Thoroughly test the intranet to ensure all features and functionalities are working as intended.
6. Launch and Train Employees
After successful testing, it’s time to launch your intranet and provide training to employees. Communicate the benefits and purpose of the intranet to encourage adoption and usage. Offer training sessions or provide user guides to help employees navigate and utilize the intranet effectively.
Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Building a SharePoint intranet can be a complex and time-consuming process. Many organizations choose to outsource SharePoint development to a specialized agency. Outsourcing offers several advantages, including:
- Expertise: SharePoint development agencies have extensive experience and expertise in building intranets, ensuring a high-quality end product.
- Time and Cost Savings: Outsourcing allows organizations to focus on their core business activities while the agency takes care of the development process. It also eliminates the need to hire and train in-house developers.
- Customization: SharePoint development agencies can tailor the intranet to your specific requirements, ensuring that it aligns with your organization’s goals and objectives.
- Ongoing Support: Many agencies offer managed SharePoint services, providing ongoing support and maintenance for your intranet.
Developing a successful intranet requires careful planning, a well-defined roadmap, and the right expertise. SharePoint offers a powerful platform for intranet development, providing organizations with centralized information, collaboration tools, customization options, and robust security. By following a roadmap and considering outsourcing SharePoint development, organizations can create a powerful intranet that enhances communication, collaboration, and productivity among employees.