Why the SharePoint intranet is still alive and kicking

Contrary to popular opinion, the SharePoint intranet is not yet obsolete. Although Microsoft continues to add new features and enhancements to the Microsoft 365 line of solutions year after year, it seems that every year on a regular basis there are people who like to announce the end of the SharePoint intranet with SharePoint development.

“Yammer is now integrated with Microsoft Office 365! Is this the end of the SharePoint intranet? »


“Hub sites mean that the traditional intranet is obsolete! »


“Teams supports a large audience and many applications! This is the new future of intranets! »

When those sentiments certainly reflect some of the ways the modern intranet continues to change and evolve in Microsoft 365, we’re here to explain why the SharePoint intranet is far from obsolete.

First of all, what do we mean by “Intranet”?

The word “Intranet” can have different meanings in different organizations, ranging from the “home page” that users see when first logging into the corporate environment, to the management platform policy information from an “intranet” for all ad hoc and collaborative content that is searchable and available to internal users.

For the purposes of this article, we will use “Intranet” to refer to a centralized publishing platform . It is a designated space (as part of the larger organizational information landscape) that provides centralized resources, including news, curated policies and procedures, research, user profiles, links to applications as well as other selected information that is relevant to a wide audience and that benefits from their publication.

In fact, this approach of recognizing the informational and security boundaries between your ” widely accessible publishing spaces ” and your ” private group collaborative workspaces ” aligns with best practice recommendations for governance guidelines. on identifying and managing different workspaces in Microsoft Office 365.

Why is SharePoint still the best tool for the job?

One of the main considerations when addressing the “what to use when” question for the various cloud tools available in Microsoft 365 is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each product while recognizing the business information needs of your intranet. For most organizations, the common business needs of their intranet are:

Persistence : A place where new or existing employees can find critical information that cannot “disappear” as new content is continually added.
Retention : A designated team of marketing, communications and business representatives who can deliver company-wide approved information, without worry.
Attractiveness : We want to replace our old newsletter in PDF format with attractive articles that have the possibility of formatting images, subtitles, block quotes, etc.
Launch Pad : Should provide shortcut links to common apps, searches, and useful information in an organized and easy-to-navigate way for new and experienced users.
What you will notice in this list of common requirements is that once we have clearly defined the use cases for sharing and redacting information in a corporate intranet, the most appropriate solution is still a modern SharePoint communication site . Although at first glance some aspects of these sites, such as “link sharing” and “news sharing”, can be found in Teams or Yammer (with trade-offs), the functionality requirements described above are still perfectly satisfied in a SharePoint publishing scenario, which is why the SharePoint intranet isn’t going away anytime soon.

In fact, it’s entirely possible for the various tools to work together in harmony as part of a larger global intranet, with SharePoint’s publishing purpose complementing Team’s collaboration purpose and Yammer social, as we’ll explain later in this article.

Why can’t I use Teams or Yammer as an intranet?

This kind of scenario may be entirely possible for some organizations , but for most organizations we encounter, with the information requirements listed above, SharePoint is still the best choice.

Microsoft Teams is designed from the ground up as a collaboration space where users are considered owners or members with editing permissions for all Teams content. This does not lend itself well (or easily) to a read-only publishing mode setup by introducing risks of informal or incorrect information being added and disseminated before it is noticed.
While Teams makes it easy to create useful shortcuts through tabs, there’s a limit to how many tabs can be added to a workspace before it becomes difficult to master, and tab content needs to be hosted somewhere , like a publishing page or document library in SharePoint! Speaking of document libraries, while the “Files” tab in Teams makes collaboration super easy and useful, trying to make it a repository of managed files (like policy or procedure files) with tags and Proper permissions becomes difficult with Teams’ “collaboration first” approach.

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