Before an Intranet system is developed, the benefits, cost-effectiveness and time of implementation should be considered. To assist companies to decide whether this is worth their while and will offer them the return on investment they anticipate the following article may provide the necessary insight into the potential value of an Intranet.
What is an Intranet?
An Intranet is a private computer network developed for single firms. It allows employees access to company information. It's a lot like a website, but is only available internally to staff who access the Intranet through secure logins and passwords. The main functions of an Intranet include distributing information, assisting in training processes, employee self-service, internal document management and facilitating human resource practices. It also assists excessively in customer relations management (CRM) as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP). Every Intranet is customised to meet the employee's individual needs.
Which organisations make use of Intranets?
Intranets are able to serve a wide variety of organisations. These may range from large international organisations to medium-sized business enterprises and are often effectively applied in smaller firms.
What are the benefits of using an Intranet?
* Continually providing up-to-date information to employees. It is easy and convenient to update information both immediately and continuously to reflect changes.
* The time and cost of content development, duplication, distribution and usage can be dramatically reduced.
* Intranet systems are easy to use making it possible for employees to gather information they need immediately and without difficulty.
* Multimedia elements such as graphics, sound and animation can be used to make the process of communication more effective and appealing.
* Intranets are regarded as multi-purpose systems that are able to incorporate various different functions, for example, filling in forms, searching databases, sending messages, providing support, etc.
* Intranets are platform independent and are compatible with any web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Netscape etc.).
* Intranets enable easier access to and exchange of information. There are no time delays in getting information to where it needs to be. Information is also accurate and can be shared across all business functions, ultimately enhancing overall productivity.
* Employees become more informed through the use of Intranets, as corporate knowledge is more accessible. This enables employees to possess the ability to make better, faster decisions and this contributes to improved decision making.
* Intranets also improve the quality of life at work as employees become more empowered, organisational learning takes place, the organisational bureaucracy is broken down and a culture of sharing and collaboration is formed.
* Intranets assist in decreasing the costs of producing, accessing and distributing information within organisations.
* These network systems also aid in the reduction of training and management costs.
Are Intranets cost-effective?
Intranets are inexpensive to implement considering their initial purchase, training and operation. This network system costs far less than most other communication or workgroup systems and is able to bring about a substantial return.
How quickly can you implement an Intranet strategy into your company?
An Intranet system can be implemented in a very short period of time ranging from as little as 2 hours but in exceptional cases could take up to 6 weeks. The length of time it takes to implement such a system is dependant on the size of the Intranet and the specific requirements of the customer.
The role of Intranets in the future…
The Web has really changed the way we do business today and Intranets will certainly play a prominent role in the future of organisations. A system of this nature is too cheap and the value it adds is too high to let competitors outmanoeuvre you in this area. Times have changed and a large number of companies today utilise Intranets to increase not only their effectiveness but also their profitability through more empowered employees.