SharePoint Intranets: Back in Vogue

Feb 8, 2023

We have all watched with mounting terror as things we never thought we‘d see again (mullets, bucket hats, bum bags, chunky headbands…) are welcomed back by the fashion set. What else is making a comeback?

The SharePoint intranet.

Once the ugly duckling of the business platform world, the SharePoint intranet is back: more beautiful, more dynamic and more popular than ever. But why? Fashion is cyclical, but technology isn’t.

Unlike mullets, SharePoint intranets have made their overdue return for some very compelling reasons:

1. Improvements in Technology

You only have to glance at a SharePoint Modern Intranet in comparison to SharePoint Classic to see that significant improvements have been made in the underlying technology platform.

SharePoint modern intranets present a beautiful user interface with responsive pages that look great on any device with faster page load times and a better experience for authors and users. In addition are the many integrations offered with Microsoft 365: Teams chat, Power Platform automation and data visualisation, document sharing, video and task management among others.

2. Security

No surprises here. After a series of public and embarrassing data breaches, security is back under the spotlight as a major priority for most organisations. Building your intranet on SharePoint leverages the watertight security of the Microsoft ecosystem and avoids creating any additional points of entry via new technologies or APIs.

In addition, SharePoint modern integrates Microsoft 365 Groups, which means you don’t have to assign permissions to staff for specific resources; adding them as a Group member grants the required permissions across the whole of M365.

3. Integrations

Unlike custom integrations and APIs, working within the Microsoft 365 suite gives you confidence that the tools you use – to hold meetings, store and retrieve documents, allocate and manage tasks or simply chat to colleagues – are built to work with each other. An update in one application will not cause disconnections or break anything. Microsoft’s ongoing investment in M365 will continue to extend and enhance the ecosystem.

“Moving from TechOne to SharePoint has been a game changer. Everything integrates, everything works.”

                                                                                                                                                      – WebVine client

4. Productivity

The need to do more with less is nothing new, but there is perhaps a greater awareness of the tools to do so, combined with increased usability and accessibility.

Microsoft’s Power Platform provides the ability to digitise manual processes like content approvals, HR processes and requests. A central digital hub like the intranet is often the logical home for these time-saving forms.

Effective document management goes hand in hand with productivity. The SharePoint intranet is the perfect place to house your document centre with filters and refiners to deliver the right documents, every time.

Finally, creating a single source of truth for the information people need to do their jobs minimises time wasted searching for resources or referencing outdated information.

5. HR: a Rising Star

During the pandemic, all eyes were on the IT and Human Resources teams to keep our organisations functional. With hybrid work, the culture building and communication that used to take place around the office is now moving online. And with more freedom to hire for talent rather than proximity, many companies are grappling with the implications of a geographically distributed workforce.

“COVID has certainly highlighted the importance of the role of human resources in a business.”

– Alex Hattingh, Employment Hero

Never before have HR directors had such an important seat at the table, with greater influence over strategic decisions including information technology. Many HR practitioners who had been asking for an intranet for years were suddenly being listened to. Increased staff turnover has resulted on greater focus on retention strategies and employee experience – both of which may be significantly improved with a thoughtful, engaging intranet.

The digital workplace – including the intranet – has a pivotal role in supporting hybrid work with modules like people directory, org chart, targeted communications and social features such as liking, commenting and staff spotlights. A sophisticated digital workplace with seamless technology and processes can be the ultimate tool to keep employees engaged and connected – wherever they are.

These are just some of the reasons why a SharePoint intranet is de rigeur for any dynamic, growing business, but don’t just read about it. Get in touch today and we’ll show you.

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