Many companies now have some type of intranet network which most members of staff have access to. An intranet can increase communication, project management and even training when used correctly. What is an intranet however and does your company need it? This article looks at some of the most asked questions surrounding intranet networks and the benefits it could have to your business.
What is an Intranet or Extranet?
There are two types of networks used mainly by companies which are intranet and extranet. An intranet is used within one business, like an internal website, which can provide information, news, ideas and even training materials.
An extranet on the other hand can be used when there are outside businesses that you wish to have included on the system. If there our outside vendors which are key members of project teams, or the business as a whole, then you will find an extranet will be a better option for your company.
Before implementing an intranet or extranet system a business must first decide who will have access to it and what the main purposes will be. Both networks will be completely secure so that general members of the public will not have access, unless you want them to of course!
Does my Business need an Intranet Network?
Businesses with various sections will find that an intranet will greatly improve communications within all of these areas. Human Resources can work with employees better and even shareholders will be able to access information that is relevant to them.
If you have more than 4 or 5 employees or several areas of your business that are not based in the same office then it is vital that you have an intranet network implemented for your company.
For those that employ freelancers, project managers or other outside vendors then an extranet system will be better for their business. This will reduce the time it takes to share information, documents and the suchlike giving you more time to focus on other aspects of the business.
Large offices may find that communication between employees is lacking, which is why an intranet network is a great idea;Image source.
The Benefits of an Intranet or Extranet Network
There are a great number of benefits to using an intranet or extranet system in your business, some of which have already been touched upon previously in this article.
Firstly, it reduces the time taken for the sharing of information and communications. Instead of chasing up one particular area, such as accounting for invoices, you can have instant access to the information as soon as they upload it to the intranet.
Each section of the business can have its own area, that has restricted limits for those who can use it and those who cannot. For example, you do not want customer service staff to have access to your supplier accounts or invoices.
When communication becomes easier with a company you will find that staff become more productive and the business becomes more profitable. Communication is the key to keeping any business thriving, especially between staff.
Many large companies have intranet pages for staff to submit their ideas, worries and feedback. This can give you a better idea of how the key members of your team feel that the business is doing. It can also provide you with ideas that you would never have thought of yourself!
Training material can also be uploaded to your company intranet or extranet to the benefit of all your staff. They can access this in their own time, from home if allowed, or during set training times in the day.
This will enable you to monitor certain employee’s performance and learning, which can provide a better idea of where your company is strongest, or weakest. Weak points can then be eliminated with the distribution of proper training materials through the intranet.
Training using an intranet network can reduce the need for group training sessions;
An intranet network within your company can be extremely beneficial for your company, especially in terms of training and communication. Use a great digital agency to help you through the design and process set-up stages.
Staff prosper in environments that allow them to talk about their thoughts and feeling, as well as having access to information when it is needed. This is exactly what an intranet provides and the reason many companies realise that they need a network implemented.
Image Credits: Michael Krigsman 1 & Louisiana GOHSEP 2