ARTICLES - Basics of Intranet

An Intranet is a private network that securely shares a part of the organization's information and operation with its employees though Internet protocols and network connectivity. Simply put, it is a private version of the Internet inside an organization. Intranets can be accessible to the employees of the organization only.

This is what differentiates it from an extranet, in which it allows suppliers, customers, or any approved parties to access information from the organization. Access is provided though user authentication, encryption of messages and uses Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Intranets have grown rapidly over the past few years. As reported by the Intranet design annual 2007 from the Nielsen Norman Group, in the years 2001 to 2003, the number of pages on participants' intranets averaged 200,000. By the years 2005 to 2007, the number has grown to an average of 6 million pages.

Intranets are mostly used for applications, collaborations between working groups, teleconferencing, sales, corporate directories, project management and many more. This is to help the organization provide a venue where in its employees can be interactive, more active and more productive with the help of each other. This can also bring employees to discuss important issues in forums so they can be heard or to come up with bigger and better ideas. Intranet traffic is determined through web metrics software, which is also used on public web sites. However, intranets are more complex than public web sites due to the variety of content and the number of system interfaces.

There are many advantages of intranets. Firstly, the intranet becomes a powerful tool of communication within the organization. Information about strategic initiatives can be easily shared and explain like what it aims to achieve, how to achieve it and when it should be achieved etc. By making this information easily accessible, employees can now be up-to-date with what is happening in the organization.

Secondly, workforce productivity can now be easier to deal with. This can help employees know exactly what they need to do, access whatever information they will need for faster performance or simply, having the right information. This will definitely improve the workforce's performance.

Thirdly, time is no longer a problem. No need to wait for information on e-mails or documents since the information needed is readily available. It is also cost-effective. The organization will have an easier time with keeping data in a web-browser rather than in physical documents and manuals. Further, this can also add to the organization's transparency with its employees, thus promoting a stronger corporate culture. With this, collaboration and teamwork will be practiced more. These are just some of the advantages it can present to an organization, but it sure does make sharing information a lot easier and better.

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