Surveys have shown that digital native employees want to invest time in the platforms, brands, companies, and jobs that invest time in them. Think about if an interview candidate coming in for a job spent the first 10 minutes explaining their background in retail, even though they’re interviewing for a role in enterprise software. 

After a while you’d think to yourself, “They didn’t do their research!“

They shared information that wasn’t relevant to the position they were interviewing for, wasting your valuable time to ask them questions and find the answers you’re looking for. 

Outdated intranets are causing the same frustration, spitting back un-personalized, unhelpful, nearly nonsensical results when employees are searching for the information critical to do their jobs. According to Forrester, only 65% of employees are satisfied with the ability of the employee portal or intranet to meet their needs in their job.1

But where do you start in trying to fix things? Here are five core capabilities you need to modernize your outdated intranet. 

Design for Mobile

Smartphones are nearing their 30th anniversary and it seems like the digital workplace missed the memo. The modern intranet should include mobile user interfaces with responsive designs, multi language support, and native apps. Employee experience is at the center of intranet modernization. Meet them where they are: on mobile. 

Put Analytics Front and Center

Image result for google analytics

Legacy intranet platforms are incapable of learning and evolving with an ever-changing workforce. Stakeholders have to have  reporting tools and usage dashboards that show the types of content that employees are engaging with most frequently to better understand how they’re getting work done. Plus, you have to keep an eye out for the dreaded null-results, queries that return a response of “no results found.” These reports and analytics should surface red flags for how your intranet’s search is performing. Employee satisfaction, low turnover, and performance are all linked. Learn what they need to do their jobs effectively so that you can continue to provide and improve upon it. 

Customize the Experience

Social media is addictive because it doesn’t stop giving us what we want to see. But how does it know what keeps us scrolling? Comments, clicks, likes, and readership patterns inform what content shows up in our feeds. Any modern intranet should do the same. Intranet software should understand the types of resources individuals most frequently accessed and the popularity of documents among our teams to provide the best results when we search. Culling through our intranet should feel less like crawling through a landfill, and more like getting work done. 

Integrate with Everything

According to Gartner, “by 2023, fewer than one-third of digital workers will select the corporate office as their preferred place to work.” 2 

That means fewer in-person catch-ups and conference room meetings and more virtual conversations. The modern intranet should incorporate conferencing and communication technology to keep employees connected,  and even consider newsfeeds that highlight top social posts, team conversations, and goal executions for quick updates. 

Get in Cloud Now

On-premise systems that are highly customized are difficult to maintain and upgrade. By moving to the cloud, intranet teams can scale the platform as the company grows. It reduces the overall infrastructure burden and simplifies security patching for a safer place to store sensitive documents. With the rise of Kubernetes and Docker for private cloud, organizations can have the security and stability of on-prem with the scalability and cost savings of the cloud.

For many organizations, intranet software and intranet search are not top of mind for improving employee satisfaction and increasing productivity. But finding the information you need to do your job is one of the most basic parts of, well, doing your job. Employees that quit their jobs probably won’t say, “I could never find anything,” but they might say, “I felt like I was doing the same arduous tasks over and over and still not getting the results I needed.” 

Employees get asked to complete a task, they try to complete the task and realize they need information. They try to be efficient and search for it instead of turning to their coworker and asking, but then they get frustrated when they can’t find what they need. They blame IT, they burnout, and then they leave. Stop the madness and modernize your intranet before it’s too late. 

If you’re feeling stuck on how to start, score your company on the above core capabilities and prioritize places where there are gaps. Read more about how to modernize the digital workplace by downloading our complimentary ebook, 4 AI Quick Hits For Enterprise Search Apps


1. Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Workforce Benchmark Survey, 2018

2. Predicts 2020: Digital Workplace Applications Led by the New Work Nucleus