What to look for in a next gen intranet

The world of work is changing rapidly, and enterprise technology is no exception. As organizations increasingly look to innovative tools to underpin new ways of working, many leaders are re-evaluating their digital infrastructure. Does your intranet have what it takes to be considered next-generation?

Employee on the phone whilst using her company's next-generation intranet

The evolution of intranets

It wasn’t until the 2000’s that the first generation of intranets really came into its own. Most early solutions were digitized bulletin boards that were launched as custom projects. Due to lengthy development times and extensive overhead costs, these solutions failed to achieve full efficacy and often got stale quickly.

Eventually, out-of-the-box offerings arrived on the scene to combat their predecessor’s shortcomings. Thanks to preconfigured templates, modern turnkey solutions are both cost-effective and efficient to launch. However, these savings come at a price: because you’re working in templates, configuration options are limited.

While turnkey solutions are certainly a step in the right direction, we’re only just approaching the Golden Age of intranets. Next-generation platforms are beginning to emerge, offering users the best of both worlds. These intranets have the convenience of out-of-the-box solutions, paired with the flexibility of custom projects.

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What does it take for an intranet to be next gen?

As the next generation of intranets takes shape, how can you know if your solution is keeping up with the times? There are several distinguishing factors that set the newest breed of intranets apart from the pack.

Next-gen modern intranets take your platform goals to the next level. Instead of merely supporting your corporate culture, these platforms come equipped with innovative features that will enhance your approach and built-in user analytics to inform future decisions. These solutions are also highly agile, enabling project owners to create new sites and pages on the fly to adapt to unexpected changes.

5 next-generation features you should look for

How can you determine whether your intranet is truly ahead of the curve? To create your futuristic intranet in the here and now, look out for the following features and capabilities:

#1. Plug and play

You never have to wait to add a new application to your smartphone. Instead, you simply choose the tool you’re looking for, download it, and enjoy. A next-generation intranet takes the same approach.

The newest breed of solutions recreates this consumer delivery model for enterprise technology, providing more flexibility and power than ever before. Our newly launched Feature Store makes it easy to install new features rapidly, bypassing the traditional feature release cycles associated with SaaS products. Get your hands on the latest apps and tools whenever you’re ready for them and use these pre-configured features to enhance what your intranet has to offer.

Unily feature store on iPad

#2. Enterprise search

Too many employees spend too much of their day looking for resources. In fact, 30% of the average workday is devoted to searching for information. The only way to reduce this time spend and reach peak productivity is by providing a consumer-grade search experience.

Our unified search center is designed to help every user achieve a “Google-like” search experience. Content and information from different sources sit as tabs at the top of the search center for quick switching, while filters and refiners help you finetune your results. Configurable item templates give you complete control over how your results appear, ensuring you can locate essential information in mere seconds.

Unily search flyout

#3. Include all your key communities

In the new world of work, your internal network extends far beyond your current employees. From suppliers to new hires, your intranet should make it easy to connect everyone who plays a part in your enterprise’s daily functions.

Because next-generation intranets are agile and customizable, you can configure your solution so that seamless third-party collaboration is well within reach. Whether you choose to launch an onboarding portal or a supplier extranet, the newest breed of intranets will keep your network aligned in a fashion that’s equal parts secure and efficient.

#4. Crowd-source innovative ideas

From your newest intern to your most tenured executive, every employee has the potential to generate ideas that will prove revolutionary. With the transition to remote work well under way, organizations need digital homes for brainstorming that make innovation accessible to all.

A digital collaboration space ensures that ideation is effortless and intuitive. Here at Unily, our ideation portal allows users to create and publish ideas, review their peers’ offerings, and vote on their favorites, which appear on trending and top ideas lists. You can even create a frontline-only hub to engage your team members that serve as the eyes and ears of your business and encourage them to weigh in via mobile.

Unily ideation

#5. Mobile optimization

With 80% of the global workforce considered deskless, a mobile responsive intranet is the only option for uniting your entire enterprise. When it comes to engaging frontline teams that are notoriously hard to reach, a mobile intranet will become their gateway into your digital workplace.

A robust mobile intranet app will feature integrations to popular tools, giving your deskless employees the same single pane of glass experience that their colleagues have grown accustomed to. Mobile search will level up efficiency, while push notifications and alerts ensure that your mobile users never miss a beat.

The next generation of intranets is here. Are you ready?

With nearly two thirds of employees noting that their organization risks falling behind without new workplace technology, leaders are increasingly turning to next-generation intranets to ensure they outpace the competition. If you’re interested in launching your own futuristic solution, get in touch with our digital workplace experts.

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