An intranet is basically a private web based network.
It uses all of the technology of the internet but is safe and protected behind a firewall that keeps unauthorized personnel out. Companies have been using them for years as a method of streamlining their internal communications.
Because a web browser can run on any type of computer, the need to maintain multiple paper copies of documents that are constantly changing can be eliminated.
Documents like training manuals, internal phone books, procedure manuals, benefits information, employee handbooks, requisition forms, etc. can be maintained as electronic documents and updated at almost no cost. The savings in paper and other material costs can be significant
But the most powerful aspect of an intranet is its ability to display information in the same format to every computer being used. That allows all of the different software and databases a company uses to be available to all employees without any special equipment or software being installed on their systems.
This universal availability of information is sparking an era of collaboration unlike anything ever seen before. The departmental barriers that exist in many companies are slowing breaking down because now colleagues can share information readily using the company intranet.
Options for implementing an intranet
There are a variety of options for setting up an intranet.
They include building your own intranet technology, purchasing and installing third-party software, or purchasing access through an extranet ASP.