The Intranet is an IT tool that organizations have been using for some time now, and is constantly evolving in its uses and abilities, in a similar way to the Internet.
The intranet is like a version of the internet that is restricted to only authorized users. For example, in an organization the intranet is a network that only employees have access to. The main goal is to share information and resources between all members of a company.
It is very useful for companies in many ways. It can help a company keep employees up-to-date with the latest information from and decisions of management. It is also a lot more efficient than always emailing employees. Email takes time for employees to pick up and read, and employees can also become overwhelmed with the volume of emails they receive and keeping the information organized requires large amounts of time which can cut down on employee productivity.
The intranet has been evolving and is now working very well with groupware, such as document sharing, combined authorship documents, messaging, as well as others. (Intranet Journal) Because a company’s intranet is a private protected network, security concerns that may be worrisome when using groupware on the internet are lessened. Also, the intranet can assist employees working on group projects and facilitate teleconferences. (Whatis.com)
However, maintaining a corporate intranet can be a disadvantage to its use. To maintain the advantages of having up-to-date information available to employees, the information must be updated quite frequently. Also, information that is no longer necessary to have on the intranet must be sorted through and removed so that overloading the system can be avoided.
Developing an intranet for a company requires knowledgeable IT staff to build and maintain it. Also, in order to be able to use the intranet employees require a computer, or reasonable access to a shared one. Supplying this to all employees expected to use the intranet could be very costly for a company that doesn’t normally do so.
Although it is a very good advantage, the security of an intranet also requires a great deal of upkeep. It needs to be monitored and updated frequently. Employees having access to sensitive information through the intranet is also a security concern. Companies with high employee turnover rates may have more concerns about these issues. (Wikipedia)
Intranet Journal Intranet FAQ. Retrieved October 2, 2007, from Intranet Journal Website: http://www.intranetjournal.com/faqs/whatis/index.html
What is Intranet?. (October 12, 2006). Retrieved October 2, 2007, from Searchvb.com Website: http://searchvb.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid8_gci212377,00.html
Intranet. (September 30, 2007). Retrieved October 2, 2007, from Wikipedia Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intranet