2024 intranet guide
: definition, benefits & examples

The intranet is a tool that probably rings a bell. But are you sure you know what a modern corporate intranet is, how it works and what its benefits are?

In this guide, Mozzaik365 introduces you the to this key tool, designed to improve internal communication and collaboration, knowledge management and the employee experience. Enjoy your reading!

What is an intranet?

In recent years, numerous digital solutions have emerged to facilitate collaboration, communication, knowledge management, employee experience and project management. Among them: intranet platforms. So, how do you define an intranet? And what distinguishes it from other technologies? Read on to find out our intranet definition and more.

Intranet definition:

An intranet is a computer network similar to the Internet, but with access restricted to members of a given company or organization. Modern intranet platforms integrate a wide range of features, to the point of transforming themselves into true Digital Workplaces. They play an essential role in improving internal communication, collaboration, knowledge management and teamwork, particularly in the context of telecommuting or hybrid working.
It's also a secure environment within a space that can only be accessed by a specific group of people.

For example, intranet networks can be used to :

  • Disseminate information and promote events to employees;
  • Organize and monitor the progress of a joint project;
  • Create an onboarding or digital training course;
  • Centralize the work tools that employees need on a daily basis;
  • Store, share, manage and edit documents collectively ;
  • Search and find internal information and knowledge easily ;
  • Identify or quickly find an internal contact;
  • Interact via chat, messages, calls, video conferencing, comments, etc. ;
  • Survey employees to obtain feedback;
  • etc.

History of the intranet

According to Anne Pauline Garbar and Magali Véran, the intranet concept first appeared in the writings of journalists in 1992, before being formalized by Forrester Research in 1996 in a report entitled "Full service intranet". By the end of the 1990s, intranets were making their mark in large organizations. According to a study by the Union des Annonceurs, in 2000, 64.3% of the top 1,500 French companies already had an intranet.

In its early days, the corporate intranet was primarily an internal communications tool, providing access to private messaging and administrative, commercial or institutional content. Since then, the intranet has evolved considerably, integrating numerous services and becoming a solution for collaborative working, project management and electronic document management (EDM).

💡 To go one step further, discover how to turn your SharePoint into a DMS

What's the difference between intranet, internet and extranet?

Internet, intranet and extranet are close cousins.

The Larousse dictionary defines the Internet as an international network accessible to all and "resulting from the interconnection of computers throughout the world using a common data exchange protocol (IP for Internet protocol)".

Unlike the Internet, the intranet is a private network, open only to members of an organization. It is based on the same protocols as the Internet and offers the same services (file sharing, messaging, online software, etc.), but on a corporate scale.

Finally, the extranet is an extension of the intranet. It is a secure network using Internet protocols, enabling a structure to exchange information securely with external partners (suppliers, service providers, customers, etc.).

Modern intranet definition
Microsoft SharePoint Intranet

What is the role of the intranet?

The modern intranet, with all its new features, has not one, but a host of roles that are essential to the smooth running of today's organizations.

Transmitting information

Worthy heirs to the first intranets, intranet 2.0 platforms facilitate the transmission of information. Via the intranet, management, the HR department or the communications department can pass on messages to employees about company news, job offers or upcoming events.

Disseminating corporate culture

The intranet also plays a role in creating a strong corporate culture. In fact, it can be adorned with the organization's colors to become a vehicle for disseminating its employer brand image. It's also a privileged channel for telling the organization's story, setting out its values, reminding its mission and, ultimately, highlighting its culture.

📢 Find out more about corporate culture

Strengthening employee commitment

The new-generation intranet is also designed to strengthen employee commitment. On a private corporate network, employees can have their say and get involved in the life of their company. They can express themselves by leaving comments on publications posted by their employer, take part in surveys, share their knowledge via blog articles published on the platform, or relay their organization's posts on their own social networks without leaving the intranet.

🤸 To go further, discover how to build loyalty among your employees

Fostering internal cohesion

With its many horizontal means of communication, the social intranet also fosters internal cohesion. The messaging systems, chat rooms and corporate social networks it hosts enable employees to communicate with each other, collaborate seamlessly and forge links. Employees can interact formally, as part of a project group for example. They can also communicate in a more casual mode, for example by creating a conversation group dedicated to a common interest (sports practice, innovations, etc.) on an internal social network.

⚙️ To find out more, discover how to set up an internal communications intranet.

Facilitating internal collaboration

One of the essential roles of the intranet is to optimize collaborative working. Tools that encourage interaction between employees facilitate internal collaboration. But this is not the only advantage of the intranet. The private network also makes it possible to share, store and even work on files together. By logging onto their intranet platform, employees can find all their working documents in their updated version. This is ideal for increasing efficiency, even when employees are working remotely or in different time zones.

💡 To go further, discover the 9 best practices of collaborative work

Securing company data

The intranet also plays an important role in securing company data. This private network enables confidential information and files to be shared securely, since only members of the organization can access the platform. To ensure the security of the intranet, administrators can also assign different rights to users, to limit their actions or the information they can see.

Improving the employee experience

Last but not least, the intranet offers employees a better digital experience. On this platform, all the applications and information employees need to work efficiently can be found in one place. The icing on the cake is that these can be presented in a neat, user-friendly and customizable interface. All of which enhances the user experience... and therefore the employee experience.

📖 To go further, discover the guide to providing a good digital experience

Intranet : internal communication

What are the advantages of using an intranet?

With all these functions, the corporate intranet is definitely a must-have tool, especially as the advantages of an intranet are numerous. Here are just a few of them:

Greater individual and collective productivity

The primary benefit of using an intranet is increased individual and collective productivity. According to a study by McKinsey, companies that use social technologies such as intranets to improve communication, knowledge sharing and collaboration can boost worker productivity by 20-25%.

Enhanced brand image and employer brand

Another significant benefit of implementing a corporate intranet is the enhancement of brand image and employer brand. Thanks to this tool, organizations can easily launch employee advocacy campaigns and turn their employees into ambassadors. A winning communication strategy, since according to a study by PostBeyond, corporate messages have a 561% greater reach when shared by employees on their social networks rather than on company channels.

Talent retention made easy

In 2023, according to an OpinionWay and Grant Alexander survey, 60% of executives surveyed considered talent retention to be the main HR issue of the year. The intranet is the ideal tool for building employee loyalty. Thanks to this tool, it is possible to set up an optimal onboarding process and to properly onboard new employees. This is an absolutely decisive step in their willingness to stay. The intranet also enhances the employee experience by providing a pleasant, fluid digital working environment. A benefit that also plays a decisive role in talent retention. The proof is in the pudding: according to a study carried out by Zapier, 1 in 6 young people (Generation Z and Millennials) claim to have already left a job because of unsuitable technology.

Savings and ROI for the organization

The final key benefit of using an intranet is financial. First and foremost, the adoption of an intranet reduces various costs and expenses incurred by the company. For example, the reduction in the number of unsuccessful recruitments alone represents a significant saving. According to Hay, a casting error can cost an employer between 45,000 and 100,000 euros. Ultimately, between cost reduction and productivity gains, the implementation of a modern intranet generates a remarkable return on investment (ROI). According to a 2017 survey by MVware, the ROI of a Digital Workplace averages 150%. Better still, according to a Forrester and Microsoft study conducted in 2019, the Microsoft Teams communication and collaboration application, integrated with intranets under Microsoft 365 - like Mozzaik365 - would achieve an ROI of 832% over 3 years!

📈 Find out more about the ROI of a Digital Workplace

Turn your intranet into a Digital Workplace

Free guide

What are the essential features of an intranet?

At this point, the importance of a corporate intranet is clear. But not all intranet platforms are created equal. To take full advantage of your internal network, it must be equipped with a series of essential features. Let's take a quick look at the main sections and features and of a good intranet:

News gallery

The news gallery, or "News Wall", is one of the key sections of an intranet. It centralizes information (internal communications, blog articles, social network posts, events, etc.) to make it immediately accessible to employees. As the icing on the cake, Mozzaik365's Digital Workplace lets you target publications to specific populations. Ideal for transmitting the right information to the right person, and combating information overload in the workplace.

Customized dashboard

The Personal Dashboard is another essential section of a good corporate intranet. The idea is to bring together on a single screen the resources and tools (applications, to-do lists, project areas, etc.) that each employee needs to work on a daily basis. The little extra? With a Digital Workplace like Mozzaik365, you can authorize users to personalize their dashboard. All the more reason to enhance the employee experience.

📚 To find out more, discover how to deploy an employee Dashboard on Microsoft

The knowledge management portal

The knowledge management portal is also one of the essential sections of a modern intranet. To be fully effective, it must include an "advanced search" feature enabling users to quickly find information and files shared and stored on the platform. Ideally, the knowledge management portal should also offer employees the opportunity to pass on their knowledge to colleagues. With this in mind, Mozzaik365, for example, integrates a "contribution help" feature giving access to content templates that contributors can use to produce blog articles in a matter of moments.

🤩 To go further, discover the top 16 features to include in your intranet

HR intranet

The HR section is the final building block of a good HR intranet. This section is used to push internal news, administrative information, job offers and events to employees. But that's not all. This portal also provides access to essential features such as the onboarding path for employees joining the company, the newcomers' booklet announcing recent hires, and the Who's Who enabling users to find an internal expert in just a few clicks.

👀 To go further, discover the steps to create a company Who's Who in your Microsoft 365 Digital Worplace

How do you create a corporate intranet?

Having explained the benefits of a corporate intranet and the key features of a good internal network, let's move on to a more practical subject: how do you make a good intranet? How do you define a good intranet ?

What makes a good intranet?

To set up an effective intranet, you need to follow a 6-step action plan:

  1. Take stock of the existing situation (presence or absence of an intranet, strengths and weaknesses, user feedback, etc.) and assess the organization's needs (upcoming projects, challenges, target populations, etc.).
  2. Draw up specifications to formalize the company's expectations, objectives, resources, technical constraints and schedule. To help you draw up your intranet specifications more easily, use our free downloadable specifications template.
  3. Contact various service providers and ask for demonstrations, so that you can choose the partner who will offer you a solution that meets your specifications, support you throughout the intranet rollout and assist you over time.
  4. Assemble a project team representative of the company's various departments and organize the project's progress (roles, work methods, deadlines, deliverables, etc.).
  5. Promote the new intranet platform through an internal communications campaign, and train users through workshops, tutorials and a mentoring program run by members of the project team.
  6. Appoint administrators to manage the intranet on a day-to-day basis, post new content, manage access rights, train employees, analyze KPIs or add new features to meet new needs expressed by employees.

What are the different types of intranet?

There are different types of intranet, with varying degrees of sophistication:

  • Some organizations refer to their intranet as the sum of their most frequently used in-house applications. In this case, the software is not integrated and the user experience is not optimal.
  • Other companies opt for a simple intranet portal or redirection portal. This is an interface that links to a multitude of applications which, again, are not integrated with each other.
  • Finally, some organizations have decided to implement a true Digital Workplace, i.e. a system in which the intranet portal and applications are integrated to form a unified digital work environment in which users can navigate frictionlessly.
✨ To find out more, discover Why migrate to a SaaS intranet solution?

How do you choose your intranet?

When it comes to intranets, you have a number of options. The best intranet is the one that matches your organization's needs. To determine these, you need to answer the following questions, among others:

  • What is your organization's primary objective? Is it to improve communication, CSR, collaboration or knowledge management?
  • What budget is your organization prepared to invest in setting up an intranet?
  • How long will it take to install each of the intranet solutions under consideration?
  • Are the technologies you're interested in easy to maintain?

💡 Is your organization already using the Microsoft 365 suite? Good news: you can create a SharePoint 365 intranet simply, without having to type a single line of code. Why choose SharePoint to create your intranet? In a nutshell: SharePoint is a comprehensive, flexible solution that integrates seamlessly with the Microsoft ecosystem to meet the different needs of organizations, while guaranteeing security and ease of use.

🤯 To go further, discover how to create a sexy intranet with SharePoint

How to improve your corporate intranet?

To remain operational and effective over time, an intranet needs to be regularly improved and updated. Here are three tips to help you optimize your intranet in 2024:

Enhancing the user experience

Your intranet is nothing if it's not used by your employees. The key to ensuring that they visit your internal network and use it to its full potential? Take care of the user experience! With this in mind, remember to monitor your platform's usage statistics to identify any drop in traffic. And don't forget to survey your employees to find out what their new needs or complaints are with regard to technology. Ultimately, this information will enable you to take appropriate measures to improve employees' digital experience.

Installing the Mozzaik365 SharePoint extension

Do you need a tip for improving your SharePoint-based corporate intranet? Install Mozzaik365. This SharePoint Online extension lets you create a true Digital Workplace in Microsoft365. Mozzaik365 adds no less than 50 features to SharePoint and Teams: news walls, contribution assistance, dynamic Who's Who, advanced search, personal Dashboard, etc. But that's not all. Mozzaik365 also enables you to quickly create an interface with a pleasant, ergonomic design, while guaranteeing maximum security (no customer data is visible or hosted by Mozzaik365).

📊 Go further and discover Mozzaik365 features you've never seen before.

Banking on artificial intelligence

The rise of artificial intelligence and its availability to the general public are key events for 2024, and could be a turning point in the way professionals do business. AI has already entered the intranet arena, accompanying employees on a daily basis (via chatbots, for example), facilitating information retrieval and accelerating content creation. In March, Microsoft presented Copilot, a personal assistant controlled by natural language. Thanks to this AI, users of a Microsoft intranet can now save precious time in writing e-mails, taking minutes at meetings or creating PowerPoint presentations.

Examples of Corporate Intranets and Best Content Practices

Example of Corporate Intranets : How to create good intranet content?

Let's start with the obvious: good intranet content is first and foremost relevant - by which we mean "necessary". Avoid "communicating for the sake of communicating": your employees' attention is precious. Your intranet should give them access to essential information.

In practice, intranet content should always serve a purpose. For example, it may be to promote a team or an employee by highlighting the success of a project. Another possible objective is to share company news by announcing the arrival or departure of an employee, a new measure implemented due to covid, etc.

Here are some good practices to know and implement:

  • The first thing to do when you want to optimize your internal communication is to make regular appointments to create and maintain employee interest. For example, choose a day dedicated to the publication of company news and stick to it! This advice also applies to the distribution of internal newsletters. The more you send out your communication at a specific time of the week, the more people will look forward to it.
  • Make sure that your content is attractive - both in terms of the content and the form of your message. Don't hesitate to ask the marketing experts in your team for advice. The more enjoyable your content is to read, the more interested and loyal your audience will be.

💡 In general, the user experience offered by the intranet portal should be ergonomic and pleasant. Our solution allows you to create a Digital Workplace that is fully integrated with your Microsoft 365 world.

  • Designed to encourage collaborative work, the intranet space is, by definition, a place for exchanges. As such, do not hesitate to propose interactive content that gives your teams the opportunity to interact with you. Communication should not be one-sided!

☝️ To remember! However practical it may be, an intranet is only really useful when it is used by the teams. Take the time to promote this tool to your employees with dedicated communication campaigns.

Example of a corporate intranet: the different possible uses

Knowledge management, internal communication or HR ... An intranet can have many different and complementary uses.

An HR intranet to facilitate collaboration

As mentioned above, the corporate intranet is an HR ally that facilitates the work of human resources. By creating a communication portal HR specific to your company, you will be able to :

  • Centralize all employee HR documentation in one place (employment contracts, payslips, personal documents, etc.).
  • Communicate on company events (seminars, conferences, farewell parties, company anniversaries, team lunches/dinners, workshops, etc.)

  • Promote internal job opportunities in order to encourage mobility within the company.
  • Highlight employees and promote team cohesion by distributing employee portraits, a company directory with photos, etc.

  • Facilitate the onboarding process by providing new recruits with all the necessary documentation via the intranet: administrative documents, documents concerning the company (guide to the company, its values, etc.), etc.

  • Centralize all collaboration tools and software available to employees on the intranet.

☝️ Mozzaik365 tip: if you lack inspiration, don't hesitate to openly ask your employees what content they would like to see on their intranet portal. Don't forget this golden rule: the more relevant the content, the more it is read!  

Intranet portail example

A communication intranet for collective intelligence

Intrinsically linked to the HR function, corporate communication allows you to unite employees around common objectives, to engage them and to involve them in the life of the company. Offering your teams a communication intranet allows you to :

  • Share your company's news regularly (and allow them to react).

  • Targeting the populations that will receive this news, in order to improve the relevance of the messages sent. A way to get the right information to the right person at the right time. This allows communications to be delivered to the field.

  • Allow employees to subscribe to content that interests them. In this way, each employee can create his or her own news wall (also known as a "news hub ") by subscribing to the topics of their choice.

💡 The more your employees receive personalized communications that reflect their interests, the more they will use the intranet!

  • Provide employees with interactive content that allows them to interact with the company - through polls or quizzes, idea boxes, by inserting a Yammer (the corporate social network) comment stream, etc.

  • Aggregate the company's social networks within the intranet. In practice, this function makes it possible to integrate the latest content published on social networks, blogs, etc. into the company platform.

☝️ This feature is particularly useful when it comes to highlighting employee testimonials made on behalf of the company. A clever way of reinforcing an Employee Advocacy strategy (consisting of making employees ambassadors of the company to candidates or the general public).

communication's intranet portail

An intranet to manage knowledge

Finally, having a collaborative platform makes it possible, more than anything else, to facilitate access to knowledge and to centralize it thanks to SharePoint - and this, regardless of where the employees work. More concretely, offering good electronic document management (EDM) to employees consists of :

  • Saving the company's accumulated internal knowledge in one place and make it accessible to all employees.

  • Involving employees by inviting them to edit/add to shared documents with a few clicks.

  • Enable everyone to showcase their expertise and to be called upon when needed - in particular through the introduction of a company trombinoscope that identifies the core business of each employee.
Knowledge management intranet's portail

Intranet Guide 2024: what you need to know

The intranet is a technology comparable to the Internet, but reserved for members of an organization. In 2024, it is an essential tool enabling companies to improve collaboration, communication and knowledge management. This not only saves costs, but also increases productivity and employee commitment.

Given the importance of the intranet, every organization should create or optimize its own. With this in mind, it's important to choose a technology adapted to the organization's needs, and offering the essential features of a good intranet (news gallery, advanced search, personalized dashboard, etc.).

If your company uses the Microsoft365 suite, a SharePoint intranet equipped with the Mozzaïk365 extension could be the best intranet for you. Easy to install, fully integrated with all your Microsoft applications (including Teams), secure and stylish, this solution offers a host of advantages. To find out more, request a demo.



Intranet guide: definition, role, benefits, creation

What is an Intranet ?

An intranet portal is a secure and private internal network accessible by a company's employees. Its purpose is to facilitate collaboration, centralize knowledge, and streamline internal communication.Thanks to its numerous features, the modern intranet strengthens employee engagement and employee advocacy.

Why implement an intranet?

An enterprise intranet aims to enhance internal communication, thereby fostering employee engagement and creating a space conducive to discussions, knowledge sharing, and collaboration for an enhanced digital employee experience.

How to create an intranet on SharePoint?

  1. Involve business teams to define your requirements.
  2. Identify goals and the desired structure (HR intranet, communication hub, knowledge management, etc.).
  3. Collaborate with SharePoint experts to design and define crucial functionalities.
  4. Develop a communication plan to promote adoption.

Learn more.