Communications, processes, and tools are key business factors organizations successfully leverage in their day-to-day activities to achieve their goals. Failing to effectively manage these factors can prevent companies from meeting organizational, departmental or project objectives. Intranet platforms are powerful tools companies can deploy to support processes related to key business factors and activities. Customizable onsite and cloud-based intranet platforms options are available for companies of all sizes.
How Is an Intranet Different from the Internet?
An intranet is a secure private network designed for the exclusive use of an organization, its’ employees, and other authorized users like contractors and third-party vendors. Intranet and internet sites are similar in appearance, applications, functionality, and navigability. However, there are significant differences between the two.
Intranet site access is restricted to authorized users who connect to an organization’s secured private network using authenticated login and password credentials. Intranet supports a limited number of users and contains a limited amount of information as designated by the organization. Conversely, internet access is available from less secure public networks, has an infinite amount of publicly available information, and has the capacity to sustain an unlimited number of users.
How Companies Effectively Utilize Intranet Platforms
Intranets are invaluable tools that support a wide range of business functions and processes to streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Intranets can be customized to meet specific business requirements to include elements such as applications, blogs, custom pages, forums, notifications, search engines, and user profiles.
Functions of centralized, responsive intranet frameworks include remote access for teleworkers; content management databases that operate as document repositories for company policies and procedures; top down and peer-to-peer communications; and knowledge management databases for eLearning and training. Other critical functions supported by intranets include:
- Employee engagement
- Team collaboration
- Content delivery
- Project management
Housing these functions and processes within intranet platforms instead of disparate systems, enhances accessibility, reduces search times, and increases response times, leading to greater efficiency and productivity.
Onsite and Cloud-Based Intranet Solutions and Their Attributes
Intranet providers like Sproket are available as onsite server or cloud-based software solutions. Onsite intranet server solutions are typically deployed in larger organizations with dedicated private servers located either onsite or at an offsite data center. Companies with onsite servers have teams of dedicated IT professionals with the requisite experience, knowledge, and skills to configure, maintain, manage, secure, troubleshoot, and repair servers. Onsite intranet server solutions can be configured to meet specific business requirements. However, the disadvantages of onsite intranet servers include scaling limitations; prohibitive costs associated with deployment, human, and technical resources; physical space requirements.
Smaller companies frequently opt to deploy cloud-based intranet software solutions. Companies pay a monthly fee to external cloud service providers, which host intranet platforms online, and are responsible for maintenance, management, security, and troubleshooting. The attributes of cloud-based intranets that make them an appealing option for organizations include ease of installation; cost effectiveness; speed, dependability, and reliability; scalability; customizable features and templates; enhanced storage availability. Remote employees can securely access company intranets from any location with internet connectivity.