Building a great Intranet environment is often about balance. Balancing acts like those between openness and security, corporate needs and individual desires, and the balance between content and culture often make for long meetings and tough decisions. Internal communicators and Intranet managers often have to determine how much to share and the right format in which to share it.
As the centralized point of access to organizational information, your Intranet portal may also represent a potential security risk. This is especially true if your portal is accessible to employees via the Internet. If your Intranet authentication is tied to your Active Directory or LDAP, be sure to put policies in place that ensure that your employees change their passwords on a periodic basis. In addition, be sure to encourage (or require) employees to use “strong” passwords, that are comprised of a combination of alpha characters, numbers, symbols and mixed cases.
Okay Intranet fans, here it is…the completely unofficial list of must have functionality for every Intranet:
2010 has been a great year for Intranets. Web 2.0 finally came out of its shell and the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube brought social tools to the mainstream. This, in turn, helped many organizational leaders understand that capturing and sharing information inside the enterprise had a lot of potential, when social tools are leveraged.
When building a business case around a social Intranet, there are a few key components to consider. Here are five suggested features that you might ask your potential vendors to demonstrate.
When developing your Intranet, it’s best not to develop in a vacuum. You may not be the best person to make decisions on how employees will use the intranet to do their job. Be sure to identify employees that will be involved in the maintenance of the portal and get everyone involved in the design process. Create an Intranet Governance Council that will include at least one member from each department throughout your company. Bigger departments might have 2 or 3. Let the members of the governance council represent their department and tell you what employees in their department need to be able to do their job more efficiently.
When it comes to Intranets, governance is one of those topics that tends to divide folks into some pretty extreme camps. One side contends that users should be able to govern themselves and, when left alone, content driven by the users will be rich and meaningful. The folks on the other side of the fence believe that content should be generated by the organization for consumption by the users. Their position is often based on the argument that end-users would pose a risk to the organization by sharing incorrect, privileged, or inappropriate content. The reality is that these two camps do have valid points, but the best practice is to land somewhere in the middle.