Some organisations go through a consideration of keeping their intranet locked to their internal network and employees are directed to VPN´s (Virtual Private Network) to use the intranet. The reasoning for this is that the information is so important and sensitive that we can not allow mobile units or personal accounts outside the company network.
It is unfortunate to limit the intranet to the workplace
The purpose of the intranet is that it is supposed to be there when you need it. The users should be able to search quickly and find answers quickly. When you limit the intranet to the devices in the workplace, the threshold is a lot higher to access the intranet.
Thanks to the social intranet being available on tablets and smartphones, the employees are able to find the information they need wherever they are. Whether it is at the workplace in the store, in a meeting, in the car, on the bus or on the train on their way to work.
The intranet is limited to workplace devices
By limiting the login to the official workplace devices you reduce the usage drastically. Many modern intranet solutions have mobile apps to send push notifications to the users. It is often very difficult to get these apps optimised to a VPN.
Modern intranets are social networks that should be available when you are online, particularly as they are often platforms for collaboration and interaction between individuals.
The general trend right now with modern intranets and the rapid development around the digital workplace is that the job is not something you go to, it is something you do. Limiting the intranet to a physical location is very unfortunate in this regard.
Of course there are exceptions from this, e.g. production environments and stores, where we will continue to be in the same physical location. But we believe the individual wants to participate and be part of the company outside of their work in the branch location as well.
Notifications loose their purpose
Limiting the users to a device in the workplace to participate and act on a notification that the intranet sent, makes it hard to keep up the activity on the intranet.
We want regular activity to make sure everyone takes part of recent information on the intranet, e.g. news, campaigns and blogposts that expire quickly.
Fear of spreading information
Many organisations claim that their information is so sensitive on the intranet, that external parties should by no means have access to it and therefore they need it behind closed doors. I think that it is obviously not good that information is shared with for instance a competitor, but also that the competitors can not cause any significant harm despite learning more or less sensitive information about the margins of a particular product, the reasoning behind your waste management policy or any other general routine within the company.
The personal experience is deteriorated by several accounts on the same device
In some organisations, for instance a production company with factories, or a chain with several branches they have a central server that connects all the individuals with either a “group account”, “function account” or “computer account”. This is usually to save time and money on administration of users or by limiting the number of licenses in the organisation.
If you limit the intranet to the workplace devices, it is very difficult to get the personal bespoke experience to work. You loose the social in the social intranet. The users have a tendency to want to help more if they can sign a reply with their name instead of being an anonymous individual in a branch location. More on this subject can be found here: User accounts or branch accounts on the intranet?.