Reinventing the Intranet for Better Employee Experiences

Arpita Maity 10 Mar 2020 9 min read
SDL Tridion Docs

Modern businesses need modern ways of working. But, if we’re completely honest, when boiled down, the intranets of the past have become digital corners that employees consciously avoid. Largely because they are cluttered with irrelevant information streams that employees just don’t care about, or they act as a distraction from their focused areas of work. Of course, they’re great for organizing a party, voting on the next team event, or having a poll on the next ‘book of the month,’ but employees still have to rely on several tools, systems and information silos to achieve their primary goal – focused work.

Addressing workplace challenges

In an increasingly distributed workplace, how does an organization ensure that much-needed human connection, and foster a culture of growth by empowering its employees with continuous learning and knowledge? An intranet needs to do more than it's doing currently, it needs to connect the workplace by powering a new generation of intelligent content and communication experiences. It needs to provide a single source of accurate information and work with organizational silos without necessarily breaking them down. In short, we need to bring an external focus to our internal work environment as well. Modern interfaces should provide relevant contextual information, personalized to a user’s profile and needs in the moment.

If you’re looking to reinvent the intranet within your business, it should offer:

  • Collaboration 
  • Communication 
  • Engagement
  • Knowledge management
  • Business insight

But remember – an intranet doesn’t have to be just an internal environment, it should be able to facilitate collaboration between partners, third-party agents and even customers. We at SDL call it an Enterprise Knowledge Hub, and it enables business insights as well as productivity.

Under the spotlight: a real-life example

Let’s look at one of the real-life examples of a customer who is on its journey to reinvent its audit platform for the future.

Big 4 Consulting Firm: Building Audit Platform of the Future

Where scalability meets compliance, DITA is often the best approach to structuring content.

Challenge: The consulting firm had faced the challenge of producing, updating, publishing, distributing and managing content in many languages, covering multiple jurisdictions, while integrating with authoritative content from varied sources. 80,000 auditors needed to collaborate with various people both in-house and external, but inefficiencies and fragmented silos were causing massive productivity losses.

Additionally, the firm serves divergent audiences including content producers and consumers, both internally and across its global client base. They needed a collective and intelligent approach to make their operations easy to manage, efficient and future-ready.

Goal: State-of-the-art enterprise knowledge hub, built with an integrated enterprise content technology to power contextual content experience at scale globally. SDL Tridion together with its partner network delivered:

  • DITA (an XML data model for authoring and publishing intelligently)
  • Multi-channel, multi-platform content management
  • Enterprise content strategy
  • User Experience R&D to architect and implement a global solution
  • HAI (Linguistic AI) for content – to build a future-ready solution
Solution: We implemented a solution to facilitate an integrated knowledge management platform that provided a digital experience that is relevant, contextual and above all efficient and easy to manage in the long run.

On top of integrating with various enterprise productivity tools, workflow systems and cognitive services, the Enterprise Knowledge Hub was also connected to various internal and external information streams such as IFRS, FASB and SEC. Together with the intelligent content created with DITA standards, metadata and underlying taxonomies, the Enterprise Knowledge Hub added contextual personalization to provide a relevant employee experience resulting in empowerment and better productivity. Complex and heavily regulated content is now easy to create, manage and deliver whenever and however it is needed.

SDL Tridion Docs 

Benefits of an Enterprise Knowledge Hub

An Enterprise Knowledge Hub provides a focused work experience for modern businesses. It is the answer to present day intranet challenges. Not only does it reduce digital clutter and improve productivity, an Enterprise Knowledge Hub addresses the key aspects of a modern business's operations:

  • Helps create accurate business content once 
  • Makes content findable every time
  • Localizes anywhere on the fly
  • Delivers contextual content across multiple channels
  • Provides relevant content based on a user's profile
  • Automates processes with artificial intelligence

First Steps towards building an Enterprise Knowledge Hub

In order to achieve the above benefits, one should start with the basics – the content. Particularly when you consider that the foundations of Knowledge Management are built on quality content. Intelligent content created with SDL Tridion Docs builds a strong foundation for organizations to be future-ready. In short, intelligent content by definition introduces the following benefits:

  • Accuracy: Compliant information
  • Reuse: Modular content chunks usable several times 
  • Formatless: Can be published and used on any channel, system or device 
  • Tagged with metadata: Makes content findable, and machine readable

Intelligent content – together with curating collective knowledge in an organization – makes an organization agile and future-ready. To summarize the benefits of an enterprise knowledge hub or modern intranet:

  • It brings new content to your employees, partners & customers faster
  • It accelerates content launches to all channels, advisors, and business partners
  • It enables a personalized content experience for your employees and partners
  • It eliminates unnecessary and redundant spend on multiple platforms and user experiences
  • It drives down internal operating expenses associated with efficient workflow costs
  • It drives down TCO through SaaS software and managed services

Intelligent content together with best-practices for knowledge management sets an organization on the path to digital transformation, helping them get ready to reap the benefits of AI and other cognitive services. To read more about how to create an agile, governed and future-ready enterprise read the whitepaper by IDC which explains this approach in greater detail.

Arpita Maity

Director Product Marketing
Arpita Maity is Director of Product Marketing at RWS. She has a bachelors in Computer science engineering and an MBA in marketing and strategy. At RWS, she focuses on Content Management Technology Portfolio. Previously, Arpita held positions in various product and strategy roles at other multinational organizations, including Engage Process, Advicent, Microsoft and Cummins Inc. She regularly contributes to content management and artificial intelligence blogs. You can reach her on LinkedIn.
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