Reading this article will help you understand just what an Intranet is and how it can help your company be more organized and your teams more productive.
And Why Should I Care?
- People are your most valuable and expensive resource – are they working smart and in a well organized way?
- Intranets are not new, and they are very popular among companies of all sizes. Intranets are a technology companies tend to love because of their easy implementation and the many benefits they offer at a low cost
An Intranet is an internal network built using the protocols and standards of the Internet. It’s an intra-company network that offers access to the same type of resources as the Internet but is limited to company’s employees (or selected outside users) only. Intranets are not expensive to implement and they offer many benefits, which probably explains why they are so popular. Some of the benefits of having an Intranet include:
- Better communication. Having an Intranet server where all the relevant information your employees need stored in one place reduces the time spent in locating information through normal, people-dependent channels. With Intranets, you just go to the server and get what you want.
- Increased productivity. When all the information your employees need is easily accessible, they spend less time communicating unnecessarily and more time doing their immediate jobs.
- Improved teamwork. Intranets are great for facilitating teamwork because when everybody has access to the same information, it is easier to be a more effective team player.
- Improved learning and knowledge management. Constant learning is a prerequisite for success in almost any business, and if you want to keep your employees in top shape, you need to make their learning experiences as easy as possible. When all the information they need is updated regularly, and above all is kept in one place, all it takes to learn is a desire and access to the location (i.e. your Intranet server’s knowledge base).
- Cost-effective. Unlike many custom applications, Intranet solutions are not expensive, yet they come packed with useful features and functionalities.
- Easy to use. The fact that Intranets use the technologies of the Internet means that your employees will not have to learn new programs. Actually, very often the only thing one needs in order to use and Intranet is a Web browser!
- Easy to adapt to your needs. While it is true that there are many Intranet servers and not all of them are equal, most of the best on the market provide extensive customization possibilities. If you implement a Intranet server that is packed with features, in the beginning you might have some difficulty figuring out what exactly you need. However, your IT Consultant will know your company’s needs and will select the features you need to use right away, and then gradually enable new features as you need them.
If you’re wondering what it takes to implement an Intranet, the answer is easy – just some time and a small investment. There are many Intranet-ready solutions and one of the best for a company of up to 50 computers or so is the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (SBS). Microsoft SBS includes many nice features and one of them is an Intranet. So if you are already using SBS for your company network, just ask your IT Consultant to enable the Intranet features.
- Evaluate your business and talk to your team about your common workflows and document organization to find areas where you could be working better.
- Work with you IT Consultant to implement the best Intranet solution for your company’s needs.
Published on 25th November 2008 by Jeanne DeWitt.