A corporate intranet is a private computer network that allows access only to authorized users within an organization. Often safeguarded with user IDs and passwords, intranets are used by companies to deposit global documents and other resources of internal use. Typically the hardware and software infrastructure for a corporate intranet are housed inside the company. There are many advantages to using this kind of system.
One of the most important benefits of an intranet in a more team-oriented early 21st century workplace is collaboration. Work groups can share information across floors, states and even countries in some instances. Employees can upload information or reports at one location that are accessible to colleagues working on the same projects at another. This is usually much more secure than sending emails and much more efficient than face-to-face, teleconferencing or phone meetings.
With an intranet, large companies can efficiently make new applications and resources available to all employees or those in a certain work area. This allows for increased efficiency and cost-savings for companies. Rather than having IT staff manually upload all new software programs to each computer, employees can do this on their own. New anti-virus upgrades, document programs and more technical programs are among the resources companies may provide through intranets. This also allows employees to self-select those tools that are useful to them.
Not all intranet benefits relate specifically to employee production. One of the main advantages of an intranet is improved communication, idea generation and internal conversation. Companies can offer forums where employees can share ideas on various types related to the company itself, certain projects or other topics. These forums may provide the outlet for employees to submit new product ideas or suggestions they aren’t comfortable sharing face-to-face. It also allows employees that work in different locations to have an ongoing vehicle for communication.
Security and Reliability
Intranets often offer significant advantages in security and privacy over the Internet and other forms of electronic communication. Companies can use various types of firewalls and encrypted technology to protect data and internal communication from hackers. The reliability of intranets is also usually strong, as companies have IT staffs to manage the systems. Unlike pages on the World Wide Web, employees typically don’t have to worry about bandwidth limitations and accessibility when opening intranet documents and tools.
About the Author
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.