The future is mobile – a mobile strategy for the intranet

The internet is already accessed more by mobile devices than desktop computers. The increasing use of the internet is based on modern mobile service subscription plans.

North Patrol is a consulting firm specialized in the design of digital services and information systems. We shape ideas into a vision and service concept, find the best architectural and technological solutions, design a functional user experience, and compete to find the ideal partner for implementation work. We do not sell implementation projects, nor do we sell licenses; we are genuinely on the side of the customer.

29 September 2015

Hanna P. Korhonen

Nowadays a smartphone or tablet is often used as a tool for work tasks also by other employee groups than just ICT workers. For instance, a custodian marks a facility cleaned with a smartphone, an asphalt worker logs the amount of pavement material used with a mobile application when moving to the next destination, a papermaking machine maintenance technician orders the required spare part with a tablet and receives the installation instructions as a video which the technician then watches on the tablet, a salesperson in a fashion store receives a service request from a customer in a fitting booth, a window-dresser shares a picture of a display layout as a guideline for all the storefronts of the franchise, etc.

Mobile applications for companies’ internal use are created every moment.

However, many companies put a lid on them, since applications are the hot stuff at the moment, a competitive edge in a scene which is still trying to find its shape.

In any case, many carry their employer’s smartphone in their pockets already. And this applies to many others besides ICT workers, too.

Is the communications unit of the organization awake?

Accessibility of the personnel has been revolutionized by smart devices!

Now an employer can actually reach all employees with their company strategy messages!

In the past, weekly newsletters and staff magazines were circulated, info TVs were installed, and supervisors were hoped to be conveying messages. Now every employee could be reached by, for instance, bringing the intranet to their smartphones.

How could that be done?

Mobile strategy for the intranet

There are two opposing approaches for a mobile strategy for the intranet:

1. implementing a huge all-in-one-intranet-blob on a single platform as a large responsive service vs.

2. intranet sliced into several individual mobile applications and/or responsive services, that have been created with different technologies and for different platforms.

Mobile visions may change the whole concept of intranet. New boundaries for intranet may be defined in the future. What is an intranet, actually? Which services and features are included in our intranet?

Which goals and objectives does it fulfill? How do we determine the boundaries of our intranet?

Or is our intranet actually an aggregate of many different internal services?

Is it even worth it to try to stuff the old desktop-based intranet into the mobile world? Should we start with a clean slate and design our intranet from a mobile-first perspective?

There are many opinions and implementation models. Everything between the two opposing ends.
One thing is for sure: every organization has a unique intranet which meets the needs of and brings benefits to that particular organization.

Intranet cannot be copy-pasted from a friend.

Intranet mobile strategy how-to

In my SUMMIT 2015 seminar presentation on September 29, 2015 I gave four tips to form a basis for a mobile intranet strategy.

1. What can be achieved?

  • What are the benefits for our business?
  • What are the benefits for our personnel?

2. Is our ICT strategy aimed towards the mobile?

  • Are we “going into the cloud”?
  • Which mobile apps do we already have? What are we planning to have? Mobile services can be designed by many: ICT, HR, business functions…

3. What kind of boundaries we have to set?

  • License pricing: are the intranet platform licenses based on the amount of employees
  • Hardware: is the employer going to provide the necessary devices for all employees
  • Security: should it be possible to log into the intranet from any device, freely from the internet?

4. You can always start small!

  • Targeted solutions to reach targeted goals!

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About North Patrol

We are a team of ten consultants, all of whom are experienced designers and technology experts. Every year we design and prepare over 50 different online services and information systems. Our customer satisfaction is very high (9.5 out of 10), and we have helped many customers transform their digital services.

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  • We don't sell coding or licenses

    Many software companies recommend software solutions that they also implement themselves. We don’t do that. We don’t do software implementation projects or have partnerships with technology providers. Our perspective on the software market is broad, as it should be for our customers. Our goal is always to find the best possible software solution for our customer, whether it’s a custom-built solution, a SaaS service, an open-source platform, or a combination of these.

  • We are realistic and forward-thinking

    We design digital service concepts, implementation methods and architectures that are sustainable and can be further developed. We place great importance on the feasibility of software solutions, the availability of good partners and the predictability of costs.

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