Microsoft Teams has established itself as the leading virtual collaboration platform. Teams has more than tripled in daily users since the start of the pandemic, making it a seemingly omnipresent aspect of remote working. It is easy for us to feel Microsoft Teams as an intranet.
Is Microsoft Teams Capable of Replacing Your Intranet?
Microsoft Teams has evolved over the last several years from a tool to an essential hub for many digital businesses. Employees may interact, share information, and collaborate on ideas using Teams, which are all key features of a corporate intranet. As the digital workplace enters a new decade, some businesses are wondering if utilizing Microsoft Teams as an intranet is a viable option.
What Microsoft Teams Can Do?
One of the advantages of working in a Teams is the ability to communicate quickly, which is useful for things like corporate announcements. However, it is also ideally suited for all types of notifications and debates in the close vicinity of the team and department. Teams provides simple choices for answering and commenting, allowing for constructive and informative interactions, thanks to its structure in teams, channels, chats, and contributions.
Many of the essential capabilities of an intranet are shared by Microsoft Teams. Users may access chat, conferencing, file sharing, calendars, and more through the Microsoft Teams interface, which is a streamlined single hub. Even more functionality is available directly through the integration of third-party apps with Microsoft Teams. It’s simple to see how this could begin to resemble an intranet.
Regardless, Microsoft Teams is lacking a number of critical components of a successful business intranet, and it is unlikely to receive them very soon. Microsoft Teams doesn’t allow you to create articles or share blogs, therefore it’s impossible to communicate important company news and information using the site. You also have far less control over the end user’s Microsoft Teams experience as an administrator than you would with a corporate intranet.
What an Intranet Can Do?
Communication: Intranets are ideal for serving as a central hub for internal company news, as well as departmental and team notice boards.
Collaboration: Intranets are excellent solutions for locating experts, sharing files, collaborating on files, and having internal conversations. Teams do this as well, but there are some drawbacks, such as the possibility of a closed communication system. This means that if you are not working in a group, you will not receive all of the information you require.
Business processes: Intranet workflows make important company procedures like HR and training simple to manage. They’re designed specifically for this type of document-intensive task.
Knowledge management tools: Organizations have a tendency to accumulate a lot of static information and knowledge. Intranets are excellent places to store this vital organisational resource.
Why Can’t Microsoft Teams Be Used as Intranet?
Microsoft Teams is a great tool for file sharing, conferencing, and organizing tasks, but it does have some restrictions. Here are a few things that an intranet can do that Teams can’t:
Teams lack standard CMS and publishing capabilities, which are essential for internal communication. You won’t be able to write a news piece, encourage coworkers to contribute their stories through user-generated content, or build and send out an email newsletter.
To make matters worse, Teams lacks the analytics features that many internal communicators rely on to track engagement and fine-tune their strategies. Your internal communications team won’t have the insights they need to implement programmes that will improve employee experience if they don’t have data on interactions and click-throughs at their fingertips
Curation and management of business content is much required. Intranets include built-in publishing approval systems as well as material deletion conventions. Microsoft Teams may have permissions tabs, but that’s all it does when it comes to the crucial role of content management.
It just takes one wrongly published document for a company to recognize Teams’ limits in this area.
Clear ownership of every page, approval workflows, automated reminders to review pages every six months, restrictions on who can publish where, and more are all examples of governance that should be implemented. There’s a lot that goes into successful content publishing, including governance to guarantee that pages are kept up to date and relevant. Your employees will cease interacting with your internal communications if there is no built-in quality management, because the content will feel flat and out of date.
By using Microsoft Teams, your internal communications department won’t be able to establish clear ownership of every page, set up automated content review reminders, or define who can post what and where.
Apart from allowing you to incorporate your own logos, Teams is unable to completely fulfil your branding requirements. Intranets can be customized to fit your company’s needs. This is critical for team collaboration and group belonging.
Opaque Navigation: Team communication is quick and dynamic, but it’s also transient. There’s also the navigation, which is frequently hard to understand. In addition, displaying new communications in chronological sequence, like in an e-mail inbox, is impracticable. It is common for news to be neglected. Even pinning is of limited utility here because the overall picture is rapidly lost.
The navigation is straightforward because it consists solely of a list of teams and channels. Long channel names are useful, but they create unnecessarily long file paths. The tabs in the channels add a third navigation dimension, although this is only useful in sections that a user visits frequently. They are rarely used otherwise.
Furthermore, communication is restricted to team members and never reaches the entire organization. This re-establishes communication bubbles that have been attempting to be bridged for years through various digital methods. Even if department-based teams are set up to be open to everyone, networking with a dozen or more teams takes a lot of time and effort. SharePoint Hub Sites are more effective at completing such activities.
Finite Monitoring Capability:
A successful intranet relies on administrators having complete visibility over all team activities and being able to follow their progress. While you may manage smaller projects effectively on Teams, you cannot properly monitor content from a holistic, governance perspective.
Poor File Storage:
Microsoft Teams isn’t built for document storage; if you tried to use it for that, you’d end up with a clumsy, slow, folder-filled file structure that’s tough to navigate for employees. While Teams can be used to share and receive feedback on documents, these documents should be saved in SharePoint, which has purpose developed organisational and access features.
Integrating Microsoft Teams with Your Intranet
However, this isn’t to suggest that Microsoft Teams doesn’t have a role on an intranet. In fact, we feel that the best option is a unified experience that integrates Microsoft Teams and your company intranet into a single, fully functional digital workspace.
Microsoft Teams will never be able to take the place of your intranet. There are instances where the two applications overlap, but there are also areas where one application excels above the other. If you decide to integrate Microsoft Teams with your intranet, you must be willing to invest time in learning whatever application you want to be the default. You’ll also need to consider how you’ll incorporate your company’s branding and information into Microsoft Teams. You can establish a workable balance with enough research and a thorough understanding of both systems.