What is an Intranet

The internet and technology have changed the face of business forever.  Ever since the introduction of the personal computer, the pace of technological innovation and change has accelerated. There are very few businesses that are not impacted by computers and the Internet.

There is so much information created and issued daily that it is becoming an increasing problem for companies of all sizes to keep track of all their data.

What Is An Intranet?

An intranet is a private computer network that helps employees share company information.  Small and medium-size businesses as well as large corporations and governments use intranets.  They serve as a central hub for employees to upload files, check out company announcements and send messages to other employees.

Advantages of an Intranet

What can you do with intranet communication software?

  • Document Management – you can save time by controlling which version of a document is live.  You can keep discussion and communication around that document to a single area.
  • Group Creation – it is easy to share relevant information with different groups. An intranet allows you to create user groups with different access levels, so you can share information selectively.
  • Collaboration and Communication – intranets make it easy for employees to communicate and work together. 
  • Search – intranets make it easier to find documents.  The best intranet platforms have robust search capabilities.
  • Workflow Management – intranets can manage workflow for repetitive business processes and include all the necessary forms.
  • Reduce emails and meetings – employees can avoid unnecessary emails and team meetings by giving them access to resources.
  • Provides organizational clarity – an intranet is a great place to provide a company directory and organizational chart to give employees clarity on organizational structures and roles.

The benefits of workplace automation can help smooth your workflow, improve communication and collaboration between your employees and help your business run smoother.

Disadvantages of an Intranet

  • Intranet platforms vary widely from one product to another.  In theory, every intranet platform can provide all the above benefits.  In practice, the reality is that finding one that fits your needs can be challenging.
  • Security breaches – when a company centralizes all of its data and information in one place it puts that data at risk.  Unauthorized access to your private company information poses a risk that you have to mitigate.
  • Information overload – intranets allow companies to acquire and access masses of data.  Their complexity makes them prone to information overload.  The data needs to be properly indexed to get search returns that are accurate based on relevancy.
  • Difficult Implementation – many intranet systems have complex implementation issues.  If your intranet platform is difficult to navigate or makes it hard to add information, it will be difficult to get employees to use it.
  • Ongoing Management – intranets require constant management. 

The Australian government has a robust intranet platform that includes identity management and log-in rights and privileges. Small organizations with stable employees, optimized storage and information policies and a workforce that collaborates easily may not need an intranet.  However, small organizations can rapidly outgrow email, social feeds and file-sharing solutions.

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