Expert Interview Series: Mike McMinn of MyHub Intranet Software on How Small Businesses Can Adopt Intranets

by Shirish Phatak on March 14, 2017

Mike McMinn is the General Manager of Technology for MyHub Intranet Solutions, covering CTO and CMO duties. Mike is a well-respected online marketing, project management and SAAS startup expert.

We recently asked Mike for his insight on intranet solutions for small business owners. Here's what he shared:

Can you tell us about the mission behind MyHub?

Our mission is to provide smaller businesses with powerful intranets that have, until recently, been viewed as enterprise-only solutions. Our software enables non-technical clients to create and deploy intranets very quickly that deliver demonstrable benefits.

What are the major pain points you're helping your clients solve?

Clients have come to us with a range of pain points they’re seeking to solve, perhaps the most common ones though are:

  • Improving internal communications
  • Enhancing employee engagement and collaboration opportunities
  • Automating business processes and reducing the dependency on email or paper-based office systems

An intranet will tick all these boxes and plenty more. In fact, most clients have found the intranet quickly becomes an indispensable part of the office environment.

When should organizations consider adopting an intranet solution for their business?

There’s no simple answer to this one. The fact is most businesses will benefit from the introduction of an intranet regardless of their size or whether they are a startup or a more established company.

The beauty of the MyHub intranet is that it’s so simple and easy to set up that you can have a professional looking and fully functional intranet up and running in a matter of hours. It’s also a very cost-effective solution.

So for most companies, the investment in terms of time and resources is minimal but the potential benefits are huge: easily findable and searchable company information, a workforce that can communicate and collaborate with each other and streamlined businesses processes. What’s more, the intranet is capable of growing with your organization. Even relatively small companies can quickly outgrow email and file-sharing solutions. In a single platform, the MyHub intranet offers all the business tools that your company will need and it’s capable of growing with you.

What considerations do organizations need to make when deciding what type of intranet solution would work best?

Time and resources are probably the obvious ones. Developing and hosting your own intranet in-house is an option but that involves a considerable company investment in terms of time and resources. There are some out-of-the-box solutions out there, but again these often require a do-it-yourself approach as well as considerable technical know-how. And with both these options having a company server is essential. Furthermore, maintenance, backing up and ensuring the security of the data will be your ongoing responsibility.

By contrast, our clients really value the tried and tested template nature of the MyHub cloud intranet offering. The pre-built templates are easy to use and can be fully customized. What’s more, you benefit from the support of our helpful team of experts who will be happy to take you through the setup process as well as offering ongoing support.

In addition, hosting your intranet in the cloud has a number of distinct advantages not least that you will have 24/7 access which for companies with remote workforces or flexible working arrangements is a must. You’ll also not have to worry about security or ongoing maintenance as the cloud provider is responsible for those.

And so you will need to carefully consider all these issues when planning your intranet.

What are the most common mistakes or oversights you see businesses making when adopting an intranet solution?

Poor planning and objective setting is probably the most common mistake that we see. Organizations are often good at identifying a pain point, but then rush into finding a solution without doing sufficient homework. You wouldn’t dream of employing a staff member without first setting them some really clear objectives and the same applies to your intranet.

Design is another key area that is sometimes overlooked. The fact is a poorly designed intranet is likely to fail from the outset. All the best intranets have one thing in common – a great looking, eye catching design that has an intuitive menu and a decent search function. Get the design right and you’re well on the way to having a successful intranet.

How can services like MyHub improve business communication and collaboration?

Communication and collaboration is at the heart of MyHub’s intranet solution. The truth is that the intranet is a quick and easy tool for disseminating company-wide information in news feeds, team pages and blogs. It’s also a great way to connect staff members and facilitate collaboration. Shared project spaces, blogs and document collaboration as well as user profiles, biographies and follow-me functionality are all intranet-based tools that will put staff in touch with each other and promote joint working across the organization.

What tools should businesses be adopting to better manage collaboration and file sharing?

There are a whole host of software options and tools out there – so much so that it’s a confusing marketplace for many businesses. Our advice is to go with something that will integrate with your existing systems and that’s easy to use. In fact, we would say the intranet is a good starting place!

What are the most interesting trends or innovations surrounding business collaboration and file sharing you're following today?

We think the move to cloud-based solutions is an interesting trend. Certainly for small businesses, typically with less than 20 employees, cloud software is an increasing trend, not just the enterprise. Remotely managed, maintained and backed up data solutions that can also be accessed remotely provide any small business with greater flexibility as well as peace of mind. What’s more, it frees you up to get on with what’s really important: running your business.

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