An intranet is a private network accessible only to an organization’s staff. Generally a wide range of information and services from the organization’s internal IT systems are available that would not be available to the public from the Internet. A company-wide intranet can constitute an important focal point of internal communication and collaboration, and provide a single starting point to access internal and external resources. In its simplest form, an intranet is established with the technologies for local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs).
Intranets are also being used as corporate culture-change platforms. For example, large numbers of employees discussing key issues in an intranet forum application could lead to new ideas in management, productivity, quality, and other corporate issues.
In large intranets, website traffic is often similar to public website traffic and can be better understood by using web metrics software to track overall activity. User surveys also improve intranet website effectiveness.
BENEFITS OF INTRANET
Intranets are extremely useful as a business tool. Few of the key intranet benefits include:
Better internal communications :- intranets can act as communication hubs for staff. You can store corporate information such as memos, staff news and announcements centrally and access at any time.
Sharing of resources and best practice :- you can create a virtual workspace and community to facilitate information storing, sharing and collaborative working. An intranet can also act as a training platform when providing online training content to staff.
Improved customer service:- better access to accurate and consistent information by your staff can lead to enhanced levels of customer service.
ADVANTAGES OF INTRANET FOR BUSINESS EFFICIENCY
we can improve your business’ efficiency by using intranet for-
Publishing:- delivering information and business news as directories and web documents
Document management:- viewing, printing and working collaboratively on office documents such as spreadsheets or databases
Training:- accessing and delivering various types of e-learning to the user’s desktop
Workflow:- automating a range of administrative processes, including dealing with holiday requests, staff performance reviews and appraisals, meeting room and equipment booking, etc
Front-end to corporate systems:- providing a common interface to corporate databases and business information systems
Email:- integrating intranet content with email services so that information can be distributed effectively.
BUSINESS APPLICATION ON INTRANET
Organizations everywhere are attempting to implement new, more efficient information technology solutions to common business needs. One of the key enabling technologies is an intranet: web-based applications running on the LAN to collect and display company information. This is one of the most versatile, cost-effective ways to support many business needs. Here are some examples of business applications that can be supported by an intranet (in conjunction with other server-side software such as a database:-
- Strategic Decision Support
- Enterprise resource management
- On-Line Analytical Protocol (OLAP) for data analysis
- Financial data reporting system
- Time & leave system
- Procurement and supply system
- Travel system
- Employee skills management, teaming
- Balanced Scorecard data collection and reporting
- Knowledge management, metadata development
- Y2K status database
- Performance-based promotion decision support.
- Promotional presentations (multimedia)
- Customer support
- Customer surveys.
- Distributed development teamwork (detachments, partners)
- Process control
- Project scheduling and task tracking
- Calendars for people and meeting rooms
- Process monitoring and data collection
- Productivity monitoring
- Activity-Based Costing
- Business Process Improvement support
- Signature authentication, approvals and tracking.
- Secure communications
- Security testing and monitoring
- Registration form
- Internet telephone
- Video and teleconferencing
- Anonymous channel (“rumor mill”)
- Threaded discussions
- Chat server
- Push technology
- Groupware, e.g. NetMeeting
- Web email.
- CAD viewer & server
- File servers
- Forms server
- Document management, library
- Research support using Intelligent Agents and profiles
- Search tools
- Server statistics & reports.
- Online training
- Online testing and certification
- Collaborative training