Updating your company’s intranet

Updating your company’s intranet

The definition of a corporate network or ‘intranet’ is undergoing fundamental changes with the advent of cloud computing, ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) and the ever-increasing scope of social media.

Traditional company intranets – which are basically databases of information accessible only by employees of the business as well as in some cases carefully selected outsiders – are changing to stay relevant in our hyper-connected age.

Internal software systems are being focused on certain core activities, such as customer relationship management, finance and HR, while access to these systems are often restricted to only relevant key staff members in each case.

Whereas before internal systems were planned and created by the IT team, today technology experts recommend that the whole business should be involved and staff should assess the needs of different departments within the business before building the system.

“Creating internal systems is extremely time-consuming, and embedding them into employees’ ways of working requires long-term commitment,” says Chris Gabriel, VP of solutions management at Logicalis Group. “Sufficient time needs to be invested in the preparation stage to ensure that the system is right for the company.

“When creating a collaborative company environment, it is essential to find out what employees actually want and need. Yes, they will inevitably want a place through which they can store and access documents and company policies. But they will also want a system that will help them understand and connect with colleagues.”

Heather Gossard, social business strategist at NewsGator Technologies, says it is important to keep intranets simple, even though the wealth of technology available makes it tempting to build something more complicated.

“Rather than confounding employees with complicated flowcharts and diagrams provide them with a tool that’s not overwhelming and is simple to get around. Think back to the envelope – a simple object – no one ever wondered which flap to open,” she says.

And with a growing range of consumer electronics being used by employees to access their company’s data, information security has become a major issue for management teams, according to William Beer, a director in PwC’s UK cyber and information security practice.

“Security professionals must have the courage to let go of their instinct to lock everything down and force change in their people’s behaviour,” he explains. “We have seen companies holding amnesties on their people’s use of BYOD and social media, which allowed the company to plan what kind of action it needs to take to protect its data and reputation.

“Data-loss prevention technologies can also be applied strategically on a company’s network to show where data leakage is occurring. The results can then be used to apply better governance to those areas and help prevent or mitigate potential data loss.”

Source: Telegraph

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