Microsoft Tips, Productivity

Your Corporate Intranet is Hurting Your Brand

Recently we’ve had 3 large international companies show us how they manage templates and other digital assets.
We was amazed.
All 3 were having their employees find files through their intranet. The process was painstaking, it took 15 clicks to find a file, not to mention the slow load time.
It is no wonder why 75% of business docs don’t start from corporate templates.
And although somewhat anecdotal, that checks with our past lives. We hated using the intranet to find files:
  • Load times were slow
  • It took 5+ screens and WAY TOO MANY CLICKS to find the content
  • Searchability was poor or nonresistant 
Don’t get us wrong, Intranets have there place, managing your templates and company approved images isn’t one of them. And the stats support it:
  • Only 13% of employees use the intranet on a daily basis
  • 31% of employees have never accessed the corporate intranet
  • 72% of employees rate their intranet as “poor”
We wish we had the answer but our guess is that companies get stuck in their ways.  “This is the way we’ve done it for year” kind of situation.
That makes sense too. Cloud file storage wasn’t relevant in 10-15 years ago. Accessing an on premise drive through a VPN was a nightmare in the mid 2000s and companies simply didn’t change their ways.
We are a firm believer in brand compliance through productivity. The goal should not be simply having digital assets in a centralized location, but make them accessible in an efficient way.
Your colleagues outside of marketing really aren’t incentivized to keep consistent with a brand, they are incentivized to do what’s in their best interest.
If the tools and resources save your colleagues time creating files, documents, deliverables so they can get work done and shut down the laptop, they will use them and the side benefit will be brand compliance.
So if not a corporate intranet, then what? Companies have 3 options:
  1. Large digital asset management systems: PRICEY and over engineered for most professional services companies.
  2. Industry-Focused asset management solutions like Astute Review’s Asset Library.
  3. Move digital assets to a cloud-based shared drive.
In this article we’re going to focus on #3 because #1 & #2 are easily searchable if you want to look for robust solution.
Moving Assets from Intranet to Cloud-Based Shared Drive:
Think of this like Occam’s Razor for asset management. A simple solution is likely the most effective (for now). This small process change should make finding files and images exponentially more efficient for groups.
How to set up a library.
  1. Using SharePoint (or any other cloud system like Google Drive, Box etc.) create a dedicated public page for the company. We specialize in Professional Services at Astute Review so in this example we will use SharePoint since Microsoft is the de-facto industry standard.
  2.  Set up your folder structure.
We recommend breaking out files under this primary structure, but do as you please
    • Templates by application (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, PDFs etc.)
    • Completed marketing materials from templates
    • Corporate Images
    • Employee Headshots
    • Social Content
3.  Link all corporate computers
Work with IT to get your shared folder linked to employee computers so they can easily access, even without the internet.
This is an easy implementation for any IT Team.  
4. Free Analytics
One major side benefit to moving your intranet to a cloud-based system is that now admins will be able to manage and see how files re being used. Analytics are a major selling point for Digital Asset Management software and few acknowledge that many of the datapoints are available for FREE within a cloud-based system like Microsoft SharePoint.
This allows marketing teams to not only track their progress of adoption but see what marketing materials are used most frequently across the company.
There is no doubt there is a strong use-case for corporate intranets. However, file storage should not be one of them. A paid solution has it’s benefits; however, we realize instituting change within an organization can take time. Sometimes it makes sense to walk before you run.
When used properly, transitioning from an intranet to cloud files storage is going to provide your collogues with efficient access to content, resulting in more consistent usage of your digital assets that you can track the results of.