4 Questions To Ask As You Plan Your SharePoint Intranet

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Share point intranet illustration
Image Source: Jostle.com

Modern organisations that care deeply about streamlining, efficiency, teamwork, communication and the sharing of knowledge know all about the importance of a powerful intranet.  And, just like Windows, Office and the Xbox, there’s no denying that Microsoft gets it done on this count too.  SharePoint is a great choice for organisations targeting success, thanks to 24-hour support, full app integration, a truly customisable platform, powerful features like business automation tools and rock-solid security. And, when considering Classic vs Modern SharePoint, Microsoft is clear on the fact that Modern is the future.

But choosing SharePoint is just the start. Just like a dream home requires a solid foundation, your dream SharePoint intranet must also be built smartly from the ground.  So before doing anything else, consider answering these questions first:

1. What’s the purpose?

It’s all good and well to know you need a modern intranet, but what do you want it for – specifically?  Depending on the answer, you may need a hub, a communication or a team site, so make sure you set time aside initially to ask those who will be using your intranet what they expect and hope to get out of it.

2. What should it look like?

Those who love SharePoint also love how it looks – like a favourite website that is a pleasure to visit.  The platform is also highly customisable, but the basics like page structure and user navigation are key to making the information the intranet users want and need easily accessible.  For instance, while the SharePoint search engine is powerful, if it is not successfully optimised from the beginning then the users may not use it at all.  Only with the basics right can the visuals be most suitably set and tweaked for best effect.

3. What devices will be using it?

Question: Technologically-speaking, what’s the big difference between 2020 and 1994, when the term ‘intranet’ was first used?  The answer is almost certainly within your arm’s width – your seamlessly web-integrated smartphone.  All those years ago, if you were nowhere near your terminal at work, you were also nowhere near your organisation’s intranet – but things have changed.  Today, you can get on SharePoint using any device with a connection – desktop, laptop, mobile, tablet, you name it.  And when ease of access soars, so too does productivity and communication.

4. Is it modern?

Say ‘SharePoint’ in a typical organisation, and you may get a mixed review.  The explanation is simple: classic vs modern SharePoint.  In short, the classic platform became simply outdated and unwieldy, while the modern one is eminently flexible and a true sports car of an application.  Where a classic SharePoint site that really performs required advanced and complex configuration, a modern site is not only extremely versatile but easy to set up, use and is automatically mobile-ready.  Features can be quickly added or removed, depending on the feedback of users and based on the basic planning steps taken above. Remember, if they don’t like it, they won’t use it!

The bottom line: Plan your SharePoint intranet!

If you start to build your SharePoint intranet from the solid foundations of the most basically important features, the process of bringing it up to speed as a platform that the users love to use will be so much easier.  Therefore, the final tips are simple.  Seek advice; know your stuff, and don’t dismiss any of the steps in the building phase.  Good luck!