Intranet 101 – What exactly IS an Intranet

According to the Oxford dictionary, an Intranet is ‘a local or restricted communications network, especially a private network created using World Wide Web software’. Accurate but understated – an intranet is so much more than a private communications network – here’s how.

Once implemented, an intranet can be the connective tissue between multiple discrete application platforms. As the digital bedrock that underlies an organisation, an intranet can connect users with data gathered from other areas of the business. Many businesses have multiple platforms to track and manage data collected from timesheets, active projects, training courses, news and events. With an intranet, your staff gain access to a simple, efficient portal through which they can rapidly access, use and modify this data.

Another powerful tool uniquely offered by an intranet is version controlled, permissions based asset management. There are multiple solutions for managing company assets, but they are often cumbersome, difficult to use and prone to failure. Document management via an intranet platform allows simplified dispersal of up-to-date, vetted documents to users and staff. By leveraging native and robust permissions control, materials can also be supplied on a need-to-know basis, ensuring that your teams are provided only with what they need.

Finally, an intranet is defined mainly by its userbase. For these users, contribution to the intranet through news articles, recognitions and knowledgebase documentation allows them to have their voice heard. Behind the scenes in upper management, user data can be collected to provide valuable business insights. Interaction with training and compliance modules gives administrative users a unique glimpse into their staff’s strengths and weaknesses. Once analysed, this data can shape organisational initiatives, goals and agendas.

An intranet is more than a communications tool. Instead, it’s an integrated platform that engages with your users, dispenses critical information to those that need it and records business insights.