Why the need for a Intranet Portal?

Why the need for a Intranet Portal?

A major part of the framework to any successful venture is reduce overhead and costs by sharing and making use of existing information. Why re-invent the Wheel?

The are many islands of information across the every large enterprise, whether that be from Suppliers. Procurement, Human Resources, Operations.  Each with their own distinct systems, policies, best practices and critical business information.  This is spread out across the internal and external clients but each in isolation, and to any new player or even new employees coming into the venture – then there is no consolidated way to find, use or collaborate on this information.

Where would you even start to find this?

Every single implementation I have ever seen built upon SharePoint has been different. Never the same. 

From massive use of  mysites, to Document Management functionality and digitalization of business forms.  Each implementation is tailored because what the business wants is tailored.

A company wide intranet can bring these separate islands together.

Challenges

In reality – even with the best will in the world, the fact remains that overall the individual areas of  business have a reluctance to share this information to which is in effect  between  disparate elements and departmental Cultures.  Employees change but critical business information remains whether that be Geographical information, Codes and Practice, Legal best practices, HR and government policies that are standard throughout any Enterprise project.

Framework for Communication and Collaboration?

One of the business goals behind the concept or notion of having a Digital Dashboard was to manage and help plan this interaction between the internal clients.  Somehow find a common platform to make the project collaborate and work in a timely pragmatic way. And as such part of this management and overall venture reducing costs, reuse of information and messages has implications and value not just from a communications point of view.

It is very important that we have a tool to exchange this managed documents and Information across the business and its overall User Experience (UX).

The tool must be familiar enough to standard practice and natural enugh for the user to use easily – else it will be another failed bluesky ICT implementation. Not just as a knowledge sharing platform but as a collaboration and communication tool. Right now – how do we know what each department is working on? How do we know what skills can be shared and to be made aware of the happenings across the business and helping to achieve the business goals.

Lets take an example; If as a knowledge worker we have the need and are looking for someone who speaks Japanese but also understands HSE legislation inside our organization? Do we force the business to go to separate areas to find this, or use a centrally planned communicative Google like experience so that one place can cast a net and bring that information back to the user.

Central Planning and communications Hub for Aggregate Information, Search and collaboration

Each Business is a  unique project with multiple elements which  presents a unique need for a  single source / aggregate of news and information, content, calendars, documents, codes, practices and information where all partners can use internally and externally to push out messages to the business.  Using this as a cross business collaboration tool pulling across from the internal clients. It should not interfere with in-house communication or planning but be a managed aggregate of specific shared resources. Using in house architecture, infrastructure, consistence and unified rights managements and best of all – lessons learned from the core people who have implemented intranet / extranet portals to the project.

 Areas to be shared:-

  • Extranet based sites for all partners – internal and external
  • Publishing approval process for Managed Content
  • Shared  Calendars
  • Collaborative Working Spaces where all partners can work on documents.
  • Aggregated Search across secure boundaries. Where Partners can allow information and documents be made available to other partners.
  • Shared Business Forms.
  • Shared Workflows

For this to happen, the political buy in and will to collaboration must be made from various planning and communication channels.

How to do this without increasing cost and separate departmental budgets – something we are loath to do in the current financial situation. We reuse skills, people and technology already in the project from different partners. Without the need for new separate resources, we use what is proven to work.  A virtual team made of proven skills Planning, Communication and ICT. Enabling this to be available from the with as part of the growing business.

 Without the backing and experience of Internal and external communication any intranet has a great chance of failure.

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