Intelligent intranet introduction and roadmap

Your intranet might include your organization's main landing page, portals for corporate communications, and individual sites for departments or divisions (like IT or HR). In this article, we look at the high-level tasks needed to create and maintain a successful intranet with SharePoint in Microsoft 365.

Whether you're the organization intranet owners, an IT Professional or administrator, a site owner, or a content creator you're in the right place. Use this article as a guide to help you find the resources that you need for your role and the goals that you have for your intranet. As you read the sections below, follow the links for more detailed information on the areas that you're working on.

Roadmap contents:

Who should use this roadmap?

  • Organization intranet owners — This is the person managing the overall direction and coordination of your organization's intranet.
  • IT pros and admins—One or more IT and SharePoint administrators who will be responsible for managing the backend configuration and implementation for your organization's intranet.
  • Business owners and site owners—The various stakeholders who will be responsible for creating and maintaining portions of the intranet.
  • Content authors — The people creating and managing content on sites and pages.

What you'll learn:

  • Understand, at a high level, the various roles and responsibilities of creating an intelligent intranet.
  • See what you can do with SharePoint out-of-the-box sites and web parts.
  • Framework for planning and aligning your intranet around strategic business outcomes.
  • Known success factors for creating engaging intranet experiences.

Keep in mind:

Intranets are a constant work in progress and are never really considered done. Make sure you have a plan to keep your content relevant, otherwise your intranet will start losing value on the day that you launch. Celebrate your initial launch, plan to monitor and maintain your intranet and its content over time as the organization changes and business goals evolve.

How to think about an intelligent vs traditional intranet design

The new, modern experience in SharePoint is designed to be compelling, flexible, and more performant. The modern experience makes it easier for anyone to create beautiful, dynamic sites and pages that are accessible and mobile-ready. Modern SharePoint supports intelligent workplaces — those that apply the collective knowledge of current users, share and collaborate easily, and engage audiences with targeted content and news.

Traditional intranet Intelligent intranet
Communication primarily through email Communication primarily through SharePoint sites and community portals
Static information like FAQ Dynamic information that's community generated in Yammer
Corporate news dominates the newsfeed Personalized news and content is targeted to specific audiences
Hierarchical collection of websites Dynamic collection of experiences and services provided by independent site collections

Key success factors

Over the years, we have learned about what makes an intranet successful. These factors can help accelerate the creation, adoption, and overall success of your intranet:

  • Ensure that your intranet goals are directly tied to key business outcomes.
  • Have an executive sponsor and identify intranet champions.
  • Establish KPIs that are regularly communicated from the project's start to finish.
  • Design for simplicity and longevity.
  • Involve your business owners and users to get feedback during all stages of the design process.
  • Establish a governance plan that defines roles and responsibilities, guidelines, and best practices, compliance and retention, provisioning sites, and expectations for content management.
  • Audit existing content to ensure quality and relevancy before migrating to a new intranet.
  • Align your intranet with your organization brand and culture.
  • Enable social connection that encourages communication, engagement, and collaboration.
  • Train your content creators and your users.

Up next

Review the different roles and responsibilities when creating your intelligent intranet.

Create and launch healthy portals

Ways to work with SharePoint

Guide to the Modern experience in SharePoint

Intelligent Intranet Envisioning Workshop PowerPoint deck