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How to find the best intranet software to meet your needs


If you're thinking about replacing your intranet, choosing the best intranet software can seem complicated. Here's some guidance through the process:

In this blog:

The myriad of best intranet platforms

There is a myriad of intranet software available, and it becomes difficult to choose which one meets your need and requirement. Finding the best intranet software can be a tedious task. But how do you decide which software is best suited for you?

In this blog, we're going to look at what you need keep in mind when choosing the best intranet software. We also give you some of our expert tips on how to choose the best intranet platform for your organization.

  • Decide what you need from your intranet software
  • Familiarize yourself with your company’s intranet needs
  • Then familiarize yourself with your employees’ needs
  • Ask the right questions to get the best results
  • A good fit is all about a balance between features and usability
  • Consider integration with other software
  • When it comes to intranet, custom is not always better
  • Evaluating intranet software
  • Why you should consider Atlas Digital Workplace

Decide what you need from your intranet software

To decide initially what you need from your intranet software, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Why do our current tools or platforms not meet our internal communication and user needs?
  • Do you need something simple that only provides basic features? Or do you need something more comprehensive that can integrate with other software?
  • Are we looking for software to make our staff more productive and efficient?  
  • Does your intranet need to support multiple languages?
  • Is there specific functionality that users expect?
  • Do you want users to access and engage with the intranet more regularly?
    Raising hand with puzzle piece illustration transparent yellow
  • Does your intranet need to support collaboration features?
  • Will you store knowledge on your intranet? Does your intranet need to be a knowledge sharing platform to drive employees’ motivation and performance?
  • What social features do you want your intranet to include to engage your employees?
  • Have you thought about security given the amount of information that will be available on your intranet?
  • How can the use of AI help me with making my intranet a success?

All of these questions will help determine which system is best suited for your business needs.

Also check out reviews from other companies that use similar systems. If possible, talk with other people using the same type of software and ask them about their experiences with it so far. This will give you an idea of whether or not this system will work well with your company culture.

Familiarize yourself with your company’s intranet needs

There are so many companies that promise to deliver the next big thing and make your work life easier, but sadly their products may fall short of what you really need. There are software solutions out there that will meet your intranet needs, you just have to do your due diligence when looking for one.

Firstly, ensure you have a clear list of business objectives to evaluate best intranet vendors against such as increase productivity, enhance employee engagement, improve teamwork.

The needs of your organization are going to determine which intranet software would be best and most useful for your workplace. Here are 6 key points that are important to take into consideration:

  • User experience - Your intranets’ design must be user-friendly for employees to get the most out of using it; if you have a large workforce, simple and familiar interfaces are best.
  • Security – Intranets are used to host important, sensitive data, so robust security and internal user permissions are key.
  • Integration - Think about the tools you already use in the workplace, such as Microsoft Teams - is integration supported with your intranet platform?
  • Accessibility - For a fully comprehensive digital workplace, your intranet software needs to be accessible by both mobile and desktop devices.
  • Support - This means thinking about your access to customer service support, and whether or not the company performs regular updates and patches on their software.
  • Cost - Budget concerns will be a concern for any organization.

Then familiarize yourself with your employees’ needs

Engage your employees to understand what they want and need from an intranet solution. You could get them to complete a short survey covering:

  • Their frustration with the current platform
  • How can tasks be improved?
  • Is information findability an issue?
  • What would they like to see in their intranet software?

Ask the right questions to get the best results

Make sure to ask these 15 questions to your intranet vendor

  1. How long will the implementation take?
  2. Is the solution easy to adopt by any user? 
  3. Will the intranet include any software updates?
  4. What are the integration capabilities?
  5. Is there any training available for the implementation?
  6. Will the solution have cross-departmental collaboration features?
  7. Can content and information be personalized to different audiences?
  8. Can we personalize/customize our intranet?
  9. What enterprise-grade security features does the product offer?
  10. Is the product capable of doing more? I.e., knowledge management, setting us up for success when we start using AI etc. 
  11. What kind of customer support do you offer?
  12. How easy is it to manage sites, content, documents etc.? 
  13. How can we measure success after implementation?
  14. Are there any costs we need to consider post implementation?
  15. Why should we choose your solution compared to competitors?  

A good fit is all about a balance between features and usability

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The intranet solution may offer a variety of features, but you need to keep in mind how relevant they are for your organization. Will it meet your requirements like for example improving collaboration, communication, engagement? Will it meet the user’s needs? Usability is essential to the user experience. How easy to use are the intranet features? Your intranet needs to be intuitive, simple and accessible, otherwise people won’t be engaged and end up not using it. A waste of the investment!

Ask your employees what they need to get their work done and make sure the features your intranet solution provides, meet those requirements. Only then your intranet will be a success.

Consider integration with other software

Is integration supported with your intranet platform? Integration can be a great plus to your intranet solution to improve the employee experience. Switching between lots of different tools can be very time consuming and difficult to have a clear overview. Accessing your different applications from one place is much easier. An intranet solution that allows integrations with your tools is an important factor to consider.

When it comes to intranet, custom is not always better

When deciding whether to use a custom build intranet solution or not, keep in mind the following points:

  • Fit with existing organization – do you currently have the following skills in-house: developers, product manager, project manager, UX designer and QA.
  • Retention – is the organization committed to appropriate level of recruitment, compensation and retention of resources required for both the build and support of an in-house solution?
  • Competitive Advantage – does the capability support a proprietary skill?
  • Support - Is their desire to support the solution in-house and deal with daily enquiries from staff?
  • Elasticity – What is the desired speed and flexibility for the resources to be activated, scaled, reduced or discontinue?

The risks of custom build:

  • Ambiguous requirements
  • Lack of engagement from users
  • Lengthy timescales
  • Project and budget overruns
  • Changing business priorities
  • Continual support for new systems training
  • Reliability
  • Potential security flaws
  • Maintaining the dev team
  • Microsoft frameworks constantly evolving
  • Future support

Evaluating intranet software

A successful intranet should cover the 5 C’s:

  • Communicate: Communication is about sharing. Good communication provision in an intranet
    empowers users to share knowledge more effectively and engage positively with one another. Read more: Digital workplace use case: Communicate more effectively with Atlas
  • Collaborate: Collaboration embodies the concept of working with one another more effectively. Enterprise platforms make the ability to collaborate with your peers more accessible. Getting collaboration right promotes productivity by enabling information gathering and sharing more easily – what we really want to achieve is helping users to get their jobs done faster and better, all the while remaining cohesive and consistent with the work within their team. There are various collaborative enterprise tools available to encourage a more open and collaborative culture to flourish. Read more: Atlas - project collaboration platform and tools for Microsoft Teams
  • Community: Community creates a sense of belonging and establishes an informal space for information sharing and team building. Community areas help to dissolve barriers that may exist between business units and/or office locations. A community is more than an audience engaging with the intranet, it is an area where employees can openly turn to for support from their peers, as well as access information and participate in the more social side of their working lives, such as sports clubs. There is a myriad of functionality that can be created in an intranet that generates a sense of community, from dedicated discussion forums to specialist applications that allow for immediate group engagement. Read more: How to enhance employee experience and improve intranet engagement
  • Contribute: Allowing an intranet audience to contribute is one of the most important of our 5 C’s. As the workspace evolves, it is apparent that employees value the ability to contribute directly to
    an organization. This can be in as gentle a form as casting votes in an intranet poll, sharing
    opinions about what biscuits to serve in meetings, or crucially contacting content owners
    directly when content may be inaccurate or out of date. What’s important is that employees feel their opinions are heard and are listened to, thereby creating an inclusive culture and contributing to staff satisfaction, which obviously benefits the whole organization. This also include knowledge sharing. Read more: Employee knowledge management and sharing software (
  • Customize: The homepage of an intranet is crucial to its overall success. It’s your first touchpoint
    with the organization and the gateway to knowledge sharing. By customizing your homepage and making it relevant to you and your goals, your engagement with it will increase as it allows you access to the areas you visit most frequently, saving you time and effort in finding exactly what you need, fast. Tailoring the intranet to provide key content on the homepage to a specific audience based on factors like location, unit or role helps feed through priority information like staff changes and company news, and fosters a sense of inclusion. Read more: Atlas Communications Intranet for Microsoft Office 365 + Teams

Why you should consider Atlas Digital Workplace


Why we believe Atlas Digital Workplace is the best for employees

Companies looking for the best intranet software that combines knowledge management, intranet capabilities, as well as collaboration and communication, Atlas Digital Workplace is the most comprehensive and user-friendly solution for the digital workforce. Fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365, Atlas offers intranet, knowledge management, collaboration, governance & provisioning and AI capabilities, giving you a powerful, all-in-one digital platform.

Atlas is also highly customizable; users can include add-ons such as APEX (enhanced automation) or ConneX Studio, a tool that allows users to create their own line-of-business templates to best suit their organization. With the familiarity of Microsoft Office technology, as well as its innovative customization options, Atlas is the best intranet platform for digital businesses.

  Learn more



Korn Ferry office with NNG Intranet Design Annual AwardClearPeople and Korn Ferry win best intranet in Nielsen Norman Awards 2020

Erin Evans (Korn Ferry International – Senior Director, Strategy and Collective Intelligence) reveals what it takes to create an award-winning, business-critical digital workspace for communication, collaboration and knowledge.

Recorded Webinar: Our NNG Story: How to build an award-winning digital workspace

  Watch webinar

Atlas highly rated in ClearBox report


ClearBox Consulting has released their recent report, featuring Atlas among a list of the top 20 vendors in the space.

"Atlas sits squarely on top of Microsoft 365 and is legitimately pitched as being a ‘digital workplace’ platform, rather than just an intranet... Atlas offers some very valuable tools that set it apart from the competition."


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