For an Intranet to succeed, it must work on a variety of levels.
First and foremost, it must be user-friendly in that it should have a professional design, intuitive navigation and provide relevant and easily found content. In essence, it has to be useful.
Equally as important is that the Intranet must be administrative-friendly meaning that those that are tasked with administering the site have easy-to-use tools to generate content, control consistency, manage security and effectively maintain a steady flow of information. A company's intranet can serve a variety of functions including improving communication throughout the firm, reinforcing guidelines, facilitating collaboration among colleagues and preserving institutional knowledge.
A standard intranet can include such things as:
- A Document Repository for items like HR (policies, business rules etc.), IT, Marketing (marketing collateral, logos, ads etc.)
- Communications like news, birthdays and other essential communications
- Upcoming/Current Events (events calendars, photo galleries, etc.)
- Important Links, Firm/Company Directory, Business Contacts and Other Public Information
- Training Area (training documents, procedural manuals, computer usage tutorials, etc.)
- Business contact info and other publically available firm personnel information
Of course the sky is the limit as far as additional functionality. More advanced implementations can provide numerous functional improvements including but not limited to:
- Secure Member Only Areas (e.g. Partner Area for sharing financials, meeting agendas, etc.)
- Advanced Training Center with instructional videos and other interactivity
- Polls, Forums and other membership-centric functionality
- Site Search
- Practice Area Specific Sections
- Job Postings
- Experience Management (e.g. Case Law Repository)
And then there are even more advanced functionalities you can consider:
- Conference Room Reservation Systems
- Customer Relationship Management Integration
- Software Integration with current internal systems (Document Management Systems, Accounting packages, etc.)