Few business leaders would disagree with the argument that employee engagement drives significant business growth. A recent Gallup study showed that organizations with high levels of employee engagement experience a 21% increase in profitability.
Implementing a company-wide intranet is a great way to increase employee engagement and boost your bottom line. Yet, this has been difficult because of the time, high costs, and resource-heavy implementation involved in building an intranet platform from the ground up.
What if there were a better way to reap the benefits of an intranet without any of these pitfalls? Thankfully, there is a better way. If you are not familiar, it is referred to as an “intranet in a box.”
Maybe you’re already considering an intranet-in-a-box solution and are ready to get your intranet up and running. But if you’re unfamiliar with this concept, it’s time to learn what it is, how it can benefit your organization, and how to make the most of it.
What Is Intranet in a Box?
When something you buy arrives in a single package, that usually means that it is a complete product; you don’t have to go through extra steps before you can enjoy it.
The same concept applies to an intranet in a box. It is a ready-made intranet solution that arrives with a pre-configured set of features that can be rapidly deployed in a business of any size.
An intranet in a box is a far cry from the clunky intranets of previous years that required months of development and a serious investment in infrastructure. Additionally, these solutions were not scalable or accessible outside of the workplace.
Intranet-in-a-box solutions have been gaining popularity in the business world because they have traded these undesirable features and requirements for convenience, scalability, and the usefulness of the cloud.
The Benefits of Choosing Intranet in a Box
“Intranet in a box” is more than a buzzword among leadership teams; business owners are reaping tangible benefits from this unique solution. These are a few of the most common advantages that enterprise teams have reaped from intranet in a box:
Developing a custom intranet solution could take months. And after development, your IT team may need support to implement it. Who knows how long the setup might take?
An intranet in a box offers a much more streamlined solution. It’s much easier for your team to implement — in some cases, it takes just a few steps (and a few hours) to set up and launch. That takes the burden off your IT team and allows you to get started with your intranet right away.
Building a custom intranet from the ground up requires a significant upfront investment. If you’re not quite ready to restructure your entire budget, an intranet in a box is your best bet.
Because it includes a generalized, pre-configured set of features, this solution costs much less than going the traditional route. It allows even businesses on tight budgets to reap the benefits of having an intranet.
Intranet-in-a-box solutions are designed to help your organization get your intranet off the ground as soon as possible. For this reason, these solutions come with pre-built templates and modules to help you easily create a branded interface and robust functionality.
Because a boxed intranet gives you everything you need from day one, your team can launch your intranet much faster.
The SharePoint Platform
Many intranet-in-a-box solutions are built on the Microsoft SharePoint platform. This means that organizations can also take advantage of SharePoint’s unique features, including lists, workflows, search, libraries, and project sites, to enhance their intranets and promote buy-in across the organization.
Additionally, SharePoint intranet in a box allows you to reap the benefits of enhanced security and the ability to access the intranet from a remote location, which boosts productivity and makes it easier for your team to get things done. If you’ve decided to implement an intranet in a box, SharePoint is the framework of choice.
The Small Business Advantage
Most small business owners don’t want to use their limited budgets to invest in custom intranet solutions. They may also not have prior experience with an office network, which can make traditional intranets seem daunting and cumbersome. Investing in a SharePoint intranet in a box solves these issues.
You don’t have to worry about paying for features that your business can’t use right away. Because intranet in a box is cloud-based, it will be much easier for this solution to scale with your business and allow you access to additional features to meet your growing needs.
Today’s technology moves at the speed of light. By the time a developer finishes and implements your custom intranet, its features might already need an update. SharePoint intranet in a box is a prime example of how cloud-based solutions bring many benefits to an organization.
Because this type of solution lives in the cloud, it's much easier to get regular updates without hassle, delay, or extra costs. This helps you to future-proof your business since you’ll always have access to all the latest features as soon as they’re released.
Potential Challenges of Intranet-in-a-Box Solutions
While an intranet in a box is a viable solution for many business owners, it isn’t without its challenges.
How Flexible Is a Boxed Solution?
An intranet in a box provides your business with everything it needs to build a functional, user-friendly intranet for your office. But, because these solutions are not as personalized, there are limitations on the features that will be available to you.
For example, not all solutions offer a multilingual platform or a dedicated employee app. So, it’s important to do your research before investing so that you can get as many of your preferred features as possible.
Overcoming Compatibility Issues
Some intranet-in-a-box solutions could have compatibility issues with your current systems or software, especially if your organization is still working with legacy technology. Working with cloud-based technology may require you to move some of your infrastructure to the cloud to access important intranet features.
This is why you must involve your IT team in the decision-making process. Before investing in an intranet in a box, determine whether your system can handle it. If not, create a plan to shift your infrastructure so that you don’t miss out on the benefits of this technology.
The Most Common Intranet-in-a-Box Use Cases
An intranet in a box can serve so many purposes. Here is a small sampling of possible use cases:
- Store important HR policy documents for easy employee access
- Use SharePoint’s list feature to create an onboarding checklist
- Implement social features to announce and celebrate birthdays
- Create a learning hub for employees to receive on-demand training
- Create a front-page news feature for easy access to announcements
- Allow your team to learn more about each other through personal profiles
- Create a calendar to keep everyone informed of upcoming company events
When used and implemented properly, an intranet in a box can benefit your business immensely.
10 Steps to Successful Implementation of Intranet in a Box
Your intranet in a box can only benefit your business if it’s properly implemented. Follow this 10-step plan to ensure the best possible outcome:
- Define your goals and objectives for intranet adoption and usage
- Assess your organizational readiness and define your needs
- Determine which features are must-haves for intranet success
- Plan your intranet site’s branding, structure, and page layout
- decide on content types and where you will source them
- Map out user permissions and access control needs to protect data
- Organize and publish content on your intranet before you launch it
- Integrate all necessary external software applications and solutions
- Consult your IT team to plan for intranet maintenance and monitoring
- Work to gain employee buy-in with surveys and feedback forms
When you take the time to ensure proper implementation, you set your organization and employees up for success with your intranet solution.
A Simple Solution to Increase Productivity and Profitability
All the benefits of a SharePoint intranet-in-a-box rest on clear facts: It’s a simple, cost-effective way to increase employee engagement, promote collaboration and productivity, and drive business growth.
Few other business solutions can offer that kind of return on investment, which makes implementing an intranet in a box one of the best decisions you can make for your business.
If you’re ready to take internal communication to the next level, hubley can help. Our intranet-in-a-box solutions include a full suite of ready-made SharePoint and Microsoft 365 apps, and we help our clients keep their intranet functionality fresh with quarterly new features included in a hubley Green subscription.
All of our features practically snap themselves in, making it one of the easiest intranet solutions to put in place. Contact us today to schedule a demo and see the difference hubley’s powerhouse communication machine can make in your organization.