Over the past few years it seems like the corporate intranet has lost its identity. When intranets first came into existence (shortly after the Internet went commercial in 1982), intranets were a convenient tool for companies to aggregate information and materials in an organized way allowing employees to easily access this information via a desktop web browser from within the corporate firewall. However, as years and even decades have passed, the simple concept of the intranet became much more complex.
Solutions like Microsoft’s SharePoint have become behemoths since they now include not only document repositories, but numerous other workplace functions and business tools, including HR portals, as well as workforce management and social collaboration solutions. To make matters worse, what can be a difficult and non-user friendly experience on larger desktop screens has become an even more miserable one with respect to the 2×5 inch screen of the mobile device.
At their essence, intranets are about content distribution and communications. Yet because they have been transformed over the years into such large infrastructural quagmires, IT departments have largely taken control of the tool used to accomplish this. This need not be the case. Content and information distribution should fall under the auspices of communications and HR professionals. These individuals are the ones whose success is determined based on whether their targeted audiences – i.e., in this case their employees – have easy and convenient access to content and other information so that they can be as efficient as possible in their work. These are the professionals who know better than anyone what their business challenges are on a day-in, day-out basis.
The reality is that the current state of intranets in the context of the mobile landscape is not employee friendly. However, since nearly every employee now has a mobile device, whether company provided or as part of a BYOD (bring your own device) program, and to the extent Millennials (those who grew up with mobile) now comprise such a significant part of the workforce, something has to change.
With today’s announcement by theEMPLOYEEapp of its new Web App, communications and HR professionals can take matters into their own hands. They can now ensure that their employees have easy, convenient and instantaneous access to content and information on any screen of their choice, whether mobile or desktop computer.
The time has come for us as communications professionals to reclaim our intranet. And because of solutions like theEMPLOYEEapp, we have the ability to do so.