Intranets, employee apps, virtual workplaces—software that enables employee communication and connection not only goes by many names, but comes in many forms as well. So what kind is best for your organization? I’ll give you a hint, it’s right there in the title. Always go for one that is purpose-built.
purpose-built: designed and constructed to serve a particular purpose and meet specific needs, free of unnecessary features.
On the topic of intranets, we could probably pull together a long list of reasons to support why purpose-built is the way to go. For the sake of this article though, we’ve drilled things down to four significant advantages that come with getting a purpose-built intranet for your organization.
A turnkey solution
When it comes to the different types of intranets currently available, purpose-built intranets are the only ones that provide a turnkey solution for customers. That is, they are ready to go out-of-the-box, and that’s what sets them apart from other intranets.
To explain, Jostle’s ultimate guide to using your intranet, breaks down today’s modern intranets into three distinct groups, based on how they’re constructed:
- fully customized
A fully customized intranet is one that orgs build (or have someone else build) for themselves, going from framework to finished product. This means that not only will you need to have a dedicated tech team to construct it, they’ll also be responsible for all the maintenance, upkeep, and improvements. It may give you exactly what you’re looking for, but it will be an incredibly expensive investment and a costly one to maintain.
Providers of a template/widget intranet usually start customers off with a base version or something that can be paired with an existing infrastructure, and then lets them build things out however they like using various templates, widgets, and other pricey add-ons. It sounds great on paper, but unless you have an information architecture expert on hand, these intranets can quickly become a mess as more and more modules get Frankensteined together.
Which brings us to turnkey intranets (like Jostle’s own platform) that are provided to customers fully built and functional—no installation required. Whereas orgs with other intranets may spend days (if not weeks) just getting them set up, those with turnkey intranets can be importing their user data, uploading company content, sending out invites to their employees, and more—all on day one.
Most intranets offer page-based solutions. About to kick off a new project? Create a page for it! Does the break room need redecorating? Create a page for it! Need to discuss the likelihood of Janessa from Customer Solutions forgetting to bring a potluck dish to the company picnic for the third year in a row? Create a page for it!
As you can probably tell, page-based intranets can easily become cluttered slogs with pages and pages of outdated info, misleading multiple versions, and unnecessary content. Navigation becomes a nightmare as users are forced to click through page after irrelevant page trying to find what they need.
Purpose-built intranets offer a cleaner, smoother alternative. Take Jostle’s platform—it's been designed with employee enablement in mind, so to prevent any bloating from excess pages, it uses self-contained views instead. A constant side navigation bar makes these views easy to access, and they’re all optimized so people can quickly find what they need, when they need it.
With a News view that always shows the newest content and latest updates at the top, and a Library view that makes it a snap to ensure the most recent version of a document is the only version of that document, Jostle’s platform demonstrates how a purpose-built intranet can clear the clutter once and for all.
Personalized user experience
Earlier I mentioned that if something is purpose-built, it doesn’t have unnecessary elements. With purpose-built intranets, the same goes for its content presentation and access. From group chats to company news to internal documentation, a purpose-built intranet lets you target all your content and control who sees what.
No one will end up reading an article only to realize halfway through that it only applies to employees in another location. Each user only sees what’s necessary and relevant to them, resulting in everyone getting a unique, personalized experience. Targeting also ensures that sensitive content can be hidden from the general user audience, accessible only by those who have been provided permission.
And with Jostle’s platform, targeting is dynamic. This means that when someone new joins the Marketing team, they’ll automatically have access to everything that’s ever been targeted to, or shared with Marketing. This helps expedite employee onboarding and removes a lot of the red tape that usually comes with giving new hires access to everything they need.
Seamless and automatic updates
Maintaining customized and bespoke intranets can be a challenging and time-consuming ordeal, and keeping them up-to-date with the latest advances in technology often requires a complete overhaul of the system.
However, by restricting the customization aspect of their product, the providers of purpose-built intranets can easily and regularly push updates and new features to all their customers. And as most purpose-built intranet providers (Jostle included) follow the SaaS subscription model, there are no additional or hidden costs for this service, it’s all included as part of the subscription package.
Well, that’s it for our quick rundown of the key reasons why you should opt for a purpose-built intranet! And it makes sense, when you really think about it. I mean, just like life is better when you have a purpose, work life is also better when you have a purpose (...built intranet, that is).