The second part of our look at making a strong business case for your intranet considers how to approach stakeholders with the idea.
Before you start talking to anyone else about a new intranet, you have to be clear in your own mind what it’s going to bring to your business. Our previous blog post – on starting out on your intranet journey – looks at setting goals and objectives for your new intranet. Once you’re confident an intranet will support your organisation’s aims, you can start thinking about taking the case to others.
Seeing it in context
Set the new intranet in the current context of your business. Look at the drivers behind your decision to implement a new intranet, both positive and negative. Based on the goals you’ve set, figure out what benefits a new intranet would deliver to your colleagues. It helps to think about each department in turn, and what they would get out of it.
Find out who the key stakeholders are in each department, and take the case to them. This should be a two-way meeting of minds – explain how you think an intranet could benefit them, and listen to their needs.
Each team will have different views on what’s important and different things they will want to achieve with the intranet. You can read some suggested benefits of an intranet to different areas of the business in our previous blog post.
Take some of the things that make modern intranets great and apply them to the department you’re thinking about. These could be:
- improved internal processes
- removing barriers or streamlining common tasks, such as booking time off or finding a particular kind of regularly-updated information
- improved communication between colleagues (especially across multiple locations)
- improvements to corporate culture, such as making it easier to share what you know with the right people.
You can also look at it from the opposite side. What would happen if you didn’t deliver a new intranet? Identify the risks inherent in doing nothing. Think about existing criticisms of the current intranet, if you have one.
Consider the problems your business currently faces in terms of efficiency of finding, sharing and updating information. What are the pain points that a modern intranet could address, and how do these apply to different roles in your organisation?
You will also need to show that there is a strong economic case for implementing a new intranet. You should take the time to figure out how quickly your intranet will make a return on investment. There are a number of factors that will contribute to the calculation.
Intranets can require serious investment, not only of money, but of staff time alongside their ‘business as usual’ work. You’ll need to demonstrate that the costs involved will be offset by benefits further down the line. Modern intranets, such as our Kira platform, mitigate the time and cost issues in a number of ways. Kira is an ‘accelerated intranet’, developed with the input of hundreds of communications and IT professionals over many past engagements, meaning the most commonly-required intranet features are already baked-in, tested and effective.
That accelerates the implementation of your intranet to the point where it gets tailored to your business needs. Alternatively, you could even decide that the base intranet platform with a few tweaks is enough for your business. These are direct savings in time and cost that would have been unheard of in the ‘bad old days’ of fully-bespoke corporate intranets.
Costs are also being brought down by the Cloud. Once upon a time, an intranet had to be hosted on your own servers, hardware and infrastructure, with a team dedicated to looking after it. Now, intranets like Kira Cloud can be hosted in the cloud, where all that is taken care of for you for a fixed cost, almost always significantly more cost-effectively than hosting it on your own premises.
Efficiency and productivity
There’s also the impact that the intranet will have once it’s in place. Think about the efficiencies that an intranet can introduce, such as time saved by being able to quickly find the right people and documents, use self-service tools and share information between colleagues. According to McKinsey research, implementing a modern intranet with a strong social component typically improves productivity by 20 to 25 per cent.
Consider how the intranet will bring your business community closer together, and what impact that might have on staff retention. If you turn these factors into metrics, then they become useful for tracking your intranet’s performance after launch, too.
You already identified the risks of doing nothing, but don’t forget that there are risks involved in going forward with a new intranet, too. Stakeholders will want to see evidence that you’ve thought about how to minimise them. One way is to get the intranet right from the outset. You can do this in a number of ways; we’ve previously blogged about building a strong information architecture, and about ensuring take-up by recruiting intranet champions.
We have been building intranets for nearly twenty years. Our Kira intranet is a truly modern solution that’s used by organisations including Standard Life, Tesco Bank, the NHS and the Scottish Housing Regulator. Built over the course of many engagements, it’s perfect for SMEs, larger enterprises, public sector bodies – in fact, anyone who needs an intranet.