Congratulations! You clearly value strong team collaboration and a company culture that encourages communication and transparency. That’s why you opted to move to the G Suite, right?
But now you’ve got a little problem: your intranet does not live up to the promise laid down by the productivity suite. You’ve got to find a way to align the two better if you’re going to truly harness the power of Google apps for work.
“Today, work has changed,” writes ICT consultancy Noovle. “A company’s human capital frequently needs to operate on the move, and therefore needs to access information from different devices, from cell phones, tablets or laptops… Working with better communication and business collaboration is a determining factor for success, for offering customers higher quality service and ultimately for remaining competitive on the market.”
That’s why you need to research the best intranet for a G Suite organization: that intranet needs to not only enable the team collaboration native to Google apps for work, but also to support your Internal Communications employee engagement and culture-building strategy. When considering the best intranet for G Suite, ask yourself these questions.
Consider: the mechanics and infrastructure of a G Suite intranet
Does your preferred intranet option integrate with the G Suite?
Yes, OK, this is a really obvious first question – but it’s essential nonetheless. Your company runs on Google apps for work, so the most important question to ask first up is whether an intranet solution can work with that. You want to ensure your G Suite intranet enables collaboration from within the portal itself, not forcing employees to leave the ecosystem to open up other tools.
Communication shouldn’t and doesn’t happen in a silo. When colleagues are discussing projects in a channel or instant messenger, you want them to be able to open up the file and work on it natively, in the intranet itself. You want the intranet to not just be the home page, but to be the frame around every task. Only a G Suite intranet with a deep integration to Google apps for work can achieve this.
Do you want an intranet, a social intranet, or a digital workplace?
Another important factor to settle early on. Your intranet isn’t there for its own sake; it’s there to solve challenges and problems, like poor communication or working in silos. But there is no one intranet to rule them all, so consider if you need:
An intranet – a home for static information like a single blog post or an embedded image of an organization chart.
An Enterprise Social Network (ESN) – like the social networks you know and love, but accessible only by your company and its employees.
A social intranet – a combination of these two, enabling both interaction and static information-sharing.
A digital workspace – all of the above, plus a productivity suite, usually through an all-encompassing tool with integrations; the G Suite intranet falls here.
More and more companies are opting for the latter, and bringing the digital workplace into reality. This works especially well where there are a lot of remote workers, or where teams are dispersed across geographies and timezones.
How mobile and responsive is your preferred option?
Your intranet is essential to getting your employees talking and collaborating, so why would you force them to do that only while deskbound? When looking for the best intranet for G Suite organizations, you need to consider how your workforce will be accessing it. At the very least, you want to ensure they can access it when out of the office; more than that, though think about the devices on which they’ll access it. Your G Suite intranet should be responsive – it should be so easy to use that it adapts to the size of screen it’s viewed on.
Will it be cloud-based or on-premises?
And herein lies the IT team’s purview: in times of old, any intranet solution would’ve been housed on company premises, somewhere in a dark, cold room full of servers that only IT was allowed to go into. But the advent of cloud-based intranets and integrations has negated the need for all that infrastructure; instead, the CTO can save money and office space by opting to put the company in the cloud.
That said, not all companies have moved to the cloud, with some CTOs citing security and data protection as the reason for kicking it old school. If your CTO is one of them, a G Suite intranet won’t work for you. That said, if they’ve already introduced the company to the G Suite, then they’re already on board with a cloud-based G Suite intranet. No-brainer, huh?
How future-proof is your preferred option?
The final, no less important infrastructure question relates to updates and budget: make sure you choose a solution that doesn’t just work for today. When working with Software as a Service (SaaS), which is the case with the G Suite and its accompanying intranet options, you’ll likely be tied into a multi-year contract. This means you want to not just analyze current need, but also what updates you may need in the next five to 10 years. Try to anticipate future challenges, consider the best intranet for G Suite, and find a vendor that is willing to work with you in a partnership to address those needs yet to come.
Consider: the use case for the best intranet for G Suite
How will your employees use the intranet?
No one likes a white elephant, and technology that doesn’t get used can be some of the loneliest white elephants ever spotted in the wild. While there are plenty of ways you can encourage and drive greater adoption and usage of your G Suite intranet, if people don’t like using it there’s no way you can move the needle significantly.
Ask yourself how your employees will be using the G Suite intranet: what tasks will they need to perform? How will they log on and access it? What will be the essential areas you want them accessing on a regular basis? Then ask yourself how user-friendly your preferred option is: how easy is it to navigate? Are important tools hidden behind multiple clicks? How will they access their productivity and collaboration tools? It’s the users that matter at the end of the day, so make sure they remain top of mind when analyzing options.
What analytics are available?
You’re opting for a G Suite intranet because you want to improve engagement in your workforce, maybe even boost morale and invest in the company culture. All of these things are measurable with the best intranet for G Suite. Question whether your preferred option has a solid analytics dashboard that grants meaningful insight into your company’s levels of engagement, and how easy it will be to report on those insights. Only when you can spot trends and drill down into engagement and usage rates will you know if you chose the best intranet for G Suite and your workforce.
How noisy do you anticipate communications will get?
If all things go according to plan, your G Suite intranet will be so popular you could get lost in all the conversation and collaboration. That’s a great thing – sort of. In reality, if everyone talks at once it gets very noisy, and very hard to identify what is important to you as an individual.
The best intranet for G Suite will enable channelled communications, a way to denote a space for discussion about specific topics – from the latest bid work to Friday drinks sessions – and let them grow organically. Channelling conversation isn’t stifling it; rather, it will enable conversation to flourish in relevant and meaningful ways.
We know that a modern organization relies on many tools to stay productive, and so we built an intranet, enterprise social network and collaboration platform in one to help you to engage, inform and connect your global workforce.
Everything we’ve said you should ask about the best intranet for G Suite is something we do natively or through a cloud-based integration. We’re all about adding simplicity to the digital workplace, connecting the unconnectable, and building collaborative and innovative company cultures.
One reviewer on Capterra says: “We're using [Happeo] to bring departments closer together, align them and establish a knowledge exchange throughout the whole company. It's our internal community platform, but without the noise other platforms may have.”