Ticking the boxes of data protection and increased productivity, a secure intranet is fast becoming a necessity for companies of all sizes.
Beyond the boundaries of physical offices, an intranet is a private hub for collaboration, secure communication, data storage, and customer relationships. Running so many apps on one platform has the potential to simplify and streamline your work and increase productivity. But with all that information in one place, data breaches can be catastrophic, making security a top priority.
That works for a surface-level understanding, but we want to dig a little deeper. Rather than a simple intranet feature list, we’re going to look at what they mean for your business through our 11 advantages of implementing a secure intranet in your organization.
Implementing a secure intranet fosters real-time internal communication and robust data security through controlled access, encryption, and audit trails, ensuring safe and seamless interactions within an organization.
When implementing a secure intranet, organizations may encounter challenges like:
A secure intranet boosts productivity and collaboration by:
A secure intranet supports continuous improvement by providing analytics tools for performance evaluation, enabling feedback collection, and fostering a data-driven culture that encourages iterative improvements and informed decision-making.
Perhaps the most obvious advantage of a secure intranet is that it works like a private communication hub, much like social media platforms on the internet. The difference is that you don’t get any pesky ads in your feed or scams filling up your inbox. Instead, it’s all about relevant, to-the-point updates and announcements.
As an internal communication tool, your intranet centralizes all your workplace communication, facilitating one-to-one conversations as well as company-wide news. With everybody using it as their dashboard, you can communicate upcoming public holidays and internal promotions, safe in the knowledge that everyone will get the message both through a notification and on their news feed.
Leading intranet platforms bolster your intranet with other communication solutions, such as instant messengers, video conferencing, and conversations within documents for peak organizational collaboration.
Remote teams have the potential to drive companies forward at breakneck speed — but only if they’re managed effectively. One of the biggest threats to the unity of remote teams is poor internal communication, which leads to a lack of productivity and alienation of employees who aren’t physically close to others.
An intranet allows you to keep remote workers engaged and in the loop rather than leaving them feeling isolated and directionless. When individuals feel heard and appreciated, they are more likely to engage with their tasks and perform at their best.
However, another benefit is that a secure intranet mimics social interactions, be it water-cooler conversations or dedicated groups united by a common interest. For example, you could set up a Foodies Club — a place to share recipes and even video how-tos for tricky techniques. A Foodies instant messenger channel allows budding chefs in your team to make social connections that help to break down barriers to collaboration.
Data protection is of paramount importance for companies of all sectors, not just those that deal with mountains of customer data. Businesses that pride themselves on providing a secure intranet do so confidently, as there are a range of ways to stop hackers in their tracks.
Starting with the login process by implementing two-step authentication, meaning even if someone discovers a team member’s login details, they can’t access the account. You can also secure sensitive files by restricting access only to pre-approved accounts. This also works to stop rogue employees from leaking harmful information. But on the most basic level, the fact that intranets are by definition private, your employees are protected from many of the typical scams found on the wider internet.
Secure communication is not only a tool but a strategic asset that helps businesses comply with data protection and compliance laws. This level of network security can also be transformed into a stamp of approval that you can integrate into your marketing campaigns.
A secure intranet kills two birds with one stone when it comes to resource management. Firstly, you avoid the disorganized mess that comes with teams following a range of different standards when it comes to storage. But most importantly, with your documents and training materials in one place, you can fully focus on protecting your valuable assets without the risks of theft that come with disorganized systems.
Of course, cloud-based storage systems are non-negotiable for remote or hybrid teams. With all your information synced in real-time, you can maintain smooth organizational collaboration whether you’re working at a desk in the office or from your mobile on the move.
But it’s not just about the documents you work on. One of the myriad intranet benefits is a company directory. Upload key information about all of your employees into an organizational chart and make it easy to find the right person for every task.
Hiring is rarely an easy ride, both from time and cost perspectives. However, you can take a huge load off your mind by implementing intranet solutions to your onboarding process.
With all your personnel and instructional information in one place, a simple step-by-step checklist gets new recruits up to speed with minimal time invested from a managerial perspective. Include a link to relevant documents in each step, guiding the reader to the relevant manuals and documents.
Onboarding is by no means a one-and-done process, of course. By making the training materials, company policies, and how-to guides available to everybody on your team, you can always refer back to them for a refresher.
When implementing an intranet, you get to choose how it looks and what its purpose is. This is a perfect opportunity to double down on the core tenets of your company culture, showing you practice what you preach.
For example, use intranet features like forums to promote open conversation. If anybody in your company is running into roadblocks or has a suggestion for improvement, they can upload a post to the message board and share it with the entire team. Open dialogue like this helps senior management address problems they don’t see in their day-to-day, and employees feel valued and heard.
A secure intranet also promotes organizational collaboration, breaking down silos between different departments and teams. Facilitating cross-functional projects and discussions, it helps to develop a culture of teamwork. Based on the diverse perspectives of inter-departmental collaboration, you can often find unique solutions to persistent problems.
To keep motivation high, we all need a bit of encouragement now and again. That’s why an increasing number of companies are doubling up their secure intranet system as an internal social media platform.
Managers can post shoutouts or award badges for excellent work, with the rest of the company dropping likes on the message. Although it may seem symbolic, the positive reinforcement of likes gives the recipient a hit of dopamine, a feel-good hormone associated with the body’s reward system. This not only provides momentary pleasure but also motivates individuals to seek similar recognition in the future.
Leaders are always on the lookout for organizational advantages, and highlighting good work is a simple way to keep teams performing at their best. This is especially true for remote employees. Isolated from their colleagues physically, they can still get that recognition through a secure intranet.
Cost-related intranet benefits are always going to be attractive to small businesses on a limited budget, so let’s take a look at some examples.
Communication costs, such as phone calls and business travel for meetings, can be eye-watering. With an intranet, your calls are free, and you can run video meetings instead. This saves you a great deal of unnecessary costs, as well as adding additional network security.
Investment in apps often snowballs as your business grows in size. However, a good intranet features a range of tools that normally require separate platforms, keeping costs low and simplifying your IT management.
Automations between the apps on your intranet allow you to do the same work in much less time (not to mention effort!). Cutting out time-consuming tasks means your team can be more efficient with their productivity.
Data breaches are seriously costly, with fines to pay, customers to reimburse, and a reputation to repair. A secure intranet reduces the risk of hacking, allowing you to manage your funds better.
Nobody’s dream working environment consists of all-day meetings and a permanently full inbox. A secure intranet system can reduce the drain on productivity caused by communication overload.
One way this works is through more informal, but still secure communication channels. For example, instant messenger is great for quick back-and-forths about a particular issue. This cuts out the disruption of calling a meeting and sidesteps the delayed response cycle associated with emails.
Similarly, entire teams can work on collaborative files simultaneously. Forget about creating long and messy email chains. Instead, make suggested changes and comments within the document itself. It’s not only faster and more intuitive for the reviewer but much clearer and relevant for the recipient.
Sure, it might take a great deal of time and effort to set up an intranet in the first place. But you can set up a secure intranet to your exact specifications, with everything you need and nothing you don’t. Alongside performance reviews, ask for periodic feedback from your team members to work on ground-level efficiencies.
Saving myriad templates to boost productivity, from email snippets and letter headers at the more basic end, to design collaterals and entire project workflows at the more complex end. Launch entire projects from a previous template with all the tasks, timings, and responsible people in place, ready to go. Sure, you might have to make a few tweaks here and there, but compared to writing up a full project, there’s no comparison.
To stand the best chance of analyzing and improving your processes, you need to have a good handle on the data your company produces. One of the best organizational advantages of intranets is that they automatically record key metrics from a multitude of apps, such as time taken on tasks, conversions made, and customer satisfaction.
A secure intranet seamlessly compiles data from every aspect of your business without relying on the help of third-party integrations. As data constantly feeds into the system, real-time reports are accessible from your intranet at the click of a button. Whether your sales team is behind on their targets or your meetings are overrunning, you can diagnose the problem and find a solution quickly and efficiently, all within your intranet.
At this point in the article, you may be asking yourself how to get all these intranet features under one roof.
Well, at Bitrix24, we’ve worked hard to create a comprehensive intranet solution that supports teams of all sizes without being overly complicated. With project, document, customer management, and much more available even on our free version, you’ll stay connected with your team and in control of your processes.
What’s more, you can choose from a range of hyper-secure methods to keep your data safe. With two-step authentication, one-time passwords, and even a self-hosted version, security is our top priority.
So, if you want a private productivity hub and peace of mind, sign up for Bitrix24’s secure intranet today.