At a very basic level, an intranet is an electronic system that provides approved users within an organization with access to restricted information pertaining to the company. Typically, the system is web-based, and the information accessed is exclusive to the company’s employees and stakeholders. In a digital age, intranet systems are commonplace and vary in their level of complexity. Since the information is restricted, accessing the intranet requires advanced authorization, which is often granted by IT personnel.
As technology advances and the requirement for greater restrictions becomes increasingly more important, the lines for classifying a system as an intranet can sometimes become blurred. Technically speaking, most data accessed these days requires prior authorization and the use of login credentials. Perhaps the easiest way to differentiate an intranet from an extranet is that an intranet is only accessible by internal stakeholders, which usually includes employees and leaders of the company. One of the issues that complicate that level of accessibility is the fact that sometimes stakeholders consist of vendors and outside business partners. Nevertheless, it remains true that an intranet is an internal system with limited access.
Useful Elements of an Intranet Platform
If you take a closer look at an intranet within a business, you’ll find that it’s often used for cross-functional collaborations between interdisciplinary team members. The intranet platform enables knowledge-sharing, customer relationship management, as well as the sharing of documents with multiple people. There are many add-ons for intranet software that can customize the system so that it meets the specific needs of the company and its varied departments. An intranet simplifies the process of coordinating and reviewing data, which increases efficiency and boosts productivity. There are many advantages of intranet in an organization, and all of these benefits ultimately help to improve a company’s bottom line results.
Some of the other functions that are often found in an intranet include the management of meeting space, human resources and expense reports. The configuration of the system depends on how it’s used by each team. In some instances, standard applications are sufficient and accommodate the company’s needs. Use of an intranet is also great for automating functions within the company, which further raises productivity.
Companies that provide intranet services have produced customized intranet platforms that have resulted in measurable results and demonstrate a clear value, beyond what could have been provided by an extranet platform. Perhaps one of the most significant reasons why an intranet is of value is because it tends of be far more secure than an extranet system. Another benefit of an intranet is that it is easy to deploy and integrate into your business, regardless of how small or large the enterprise.
The key to deciding whether using an intranet is of value is to determine whether you can leverage the system to resolve organizational problems and streamline processes. Since a lot of intranet systems offer robust core functionality and a variety of tools to fit a company’s needs, it could very well be the solution that takes your business to the next level.