An Intranet software is a private communications network that’s contained within an organization. It’s an alternative to the public Internet that enables companies to securely share data, applications and computing resources with colleagues, customers and suppliers. Intranets use the same software, networks and applications as the Internet, but access is restricted to members of a specific institution.
The Internet has revolutionized the way we work by connecting to a vast array of information sources, making them more readily available to employees. It also makes it possible to collaborate with colleagues around the globe. But navigating the complex maze of online tools and services can be challenging. In addition to requiring a significant time investment, learning how to use the tools requires an intimate knowledge of technology and a willingness to spend much of one’s day rummaging through documents looking for ones of interest.
In contrast, intranets offer easy-to-use, user-friendly tools for locating and using information. They are the preferred communication and collaboration platform for many organizations. The newer generation of intranets, sometimes called social intranets or employee portals, are designed to be engaging with a focus on the end-user experience and the ability to integrate with other team communication and collaboration tools.
To be successful, these platforms must be used consistently, with employees sharing content and communicating regularly. It’s important to choose a social intranet or employee portal with features that make it easier for users to track engagement and incorporate gamification elements. It’s also critical that the platform is optimized for remote workers.
To use the company’s intranet, an employee must have a special network password and be connected to the company LAN or another secure connection such as a virtual private network (VPN). A firewall protects the intranet from malware and other threats that might come from outside. In addition, a network administrator must keep the intranet up to date with the latest versions of its applications and software. A database of employee usernames and passwords is often maintained to help ensure only authorized personnel can access the company’s information.