Choosing a New Intranet Solution? Here’s How To Get Started.

June 14, 2017

[Updated June 23, 2023] Introducing new resources and tools into your organization is exciting, especially when you know it will ultimately help solve several challenges across the board. But it can also be extremely daunting.  

Take intranets for example – more and more organizations are embracing them as a central hub for their employee base. As comms professionals, we love any space that allows for streamlining communications and information across the organization.  

How do you make the best intranet for your organization? Whether you are launching a brand-new site or looking to revamp your current intranet, the process of choosing a platform can be overwhelming.

Between the never-ending list of providers available, feature and functionality considerations, and the set-up and onboarding, we know this is no small feat. But, as employee experience pros, we’ve dealt with our fair share of intranets, and we’ve got you covered!

Read on for three best practices when it comes to choosing the right intranet provider for your organization.  


Before you even begin the process of looking at platforms, make sure to take the time to reflect on why you’re seeking a solution and the issues or challenges you are looking to solve. Think about these questions: 

  • How do our employees currently get information–what’s working and what’s not? 
  • If you have a current intranet: What do you like about the current platform? What gaps would you like to address with the new platform? 
  • What would an ideal intranet look like? What specific use cases are you looking to address? 
  • How will the intranet help achieve business goals? Who needs to be involved in the decision-making process? 

💡 PRO TIP: To maintain alignment and account for decision makers across the organization (that will likely have a role in ensuring the project’s success), we recommend representatives from IT/Security, Legal, HR and Communications all have a seat at the table throughout the process.  

Here's how to rock your survey


Going into your demos and discussions with vendors armed with a list of your non-negotiables and nice-to-haves will help make this process a lot smoother. Not only does it help your preliminary research and discussions with vendors, but most importantly, it helps keep everyone on the same page.  

Some general things to keep in mind when entering your initial conversations:  

  • What key features are a must? (e.g. mobile-ready, easily customizable to fit your brand standards, robust analytics and reporting, governance, translation, etc.)  
  • What level of customization do you desire? Do you want something that is out of the box/ready to use or something you can tailor to fit your needs?  
  • Does the platform integrate and play nicely with tools you are already using as an organization? (e.g. Google, Microsoft 365, Slack, Workday, etc.)  
  • What applications and widgets are available for integration?  
  • Is it scalable from both a cost and functionality perspective?  
  • What are the must-haves from a user experience perspective? (e.g. easy to navigate, search-optimized, personalized homepages/newsfeeds, notifications, etc.) 
  • For implementation, do they have an in-house team or do they use 3rd party vendors? Do they provide templates/user guides/training as part of their implementation package? 

💡 BONUS TIP: Since we are comms professionals after all, here are communication specific considerations we recommend you stay mindful of:  

  • Can the platform target news/updates to certain groups of employees based on data from the HRIS/SSO/AD? (e.g., department, employment type, location, etc.)  
  • Is the content management interface optimized for efficient multi-channel publishing? Can you schedule multi-channel campaigns? (e.g., mobile news feed, newsletters, emails, etc.) 
  • How can users engage with the content? Like? Comment? React? Share?  
  • What metrics and analytics are available? What are the reporting capabilities? 
  • Are contributors/admins able to see content creation and revision history? 
  • Are there audit trails that allow users to go back to previous content versions?  
Here's How to Boost Company Intranet Engagement


The decision to secure an intranet provider is usually one piece of a much larger corporate puzzle. They are implemented with the intention of solving challenges across the broader organization and require their own strategy.  

To stay organized, here are six key stages of intranet implementation to be mindful of:  

  1. Assess: Evaluate your needs and outline your criteria (See Steps 1 and 2 above!)  
  1. Plan: Work with your vendor to develop an overall project plan and start laying the foundation of your site map, including navigation and search optimization. 
  1. Build: This is where you define the platform identity, both visually and from a content standpoint. How do you want the homepage to look? What content is front and center? Who will be contributing content and how are we tracking it? (This is a great time to develop your editorial calendar!)  
  1. Rules: Before launch it is crucial that all stakeholders are crystal clear on the “Rules of Engagement” or etiquette of the intranet – what it will and will not be used for. Also, you must determine what the governing principles are and who is responsible for enforcing policies related to intranet use.  
  1. Launch: The time has come to introduce the new platform to your employees! Be sure to build excitement with teaser campaigns, identify employee champions to advocate for its use, and most importantly, continue communication around its benefits. 
  1. Ongoing support: Be sure that you are measuring engagement across your intranet and using insights to drive your overall content strategy. Continue to gather feedback from employees and look for new ways to engage them across the platform (e.g. employee and project spotlights, employee/team recognition and awards, leadership blog series, etc.)   

Choosing a new intranet can feel like a tall order.  

Having the right resources and information from the get-go will help mitigate headaches along the way as you find the right platform. So, stay grounded on your “why” -- focusing on all the good you know will come from a solution like this will help you refrain from getting caught up in the politics and minutia that tend to accompany projects of this caliber.

Remember the end goal everyone is working toward is providing a resource that will enable employees to build connections and boost engagement across the organization! Don’t know where to start your research? Check out the brilliant resources below for some inspiration:  

For more bite-sized brilliance, subscribe to our monthly employee engagement newsletter, the Inkwell, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest

Sonia Segal-Smith

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