What is an intranet network and what is its purpose?

Intranets are internal communication networks. Like the internet, it is a series of web pages used to convey information within your organization. Intranets are a place where every employee can access common information needed across the organization, such as HR policies, employee contact information, standard operating procedures and much more.

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Intranets are often broken down by department or divisional structure. For example, the sales team might have a component of the intranet that is their responsibility to update, where they share sales-related information that other employees may need access to from time-to-time.

Different people within the organization are going to manage various sections as an intranet is rarely controlled by a centralized authority within an organization. Bits and pieces of the company or organization that are going to know or have the information related to that specific function will be responsible for keeping that section up to date. Unlike the days of the past, where you would send your information off to the web team to type in HTML into a front-page application, these days everything is done by the end user. It might be completed by administrative employees within each department, but it is usually updated on a department-by-department basis.

Is an intranet right for your business? 

Company size

Intranets become much more useful to organizations that have started to reach a medium size or larger. Organizations like governments, colleges, universities, and large enterprises tend to already have intranets in place. If your business is growing and you are starting to have challenges around coordination of information, it might be a sign that it is time for an intranet.  

Industry 

Are your employees on computers at desks every day or are you manufacturing furniture? Obviously, most professionals have access to cell phones, and tablets. but intranets are best for businesses where employees are using computers or tablets regularly. However, different organizations are going to have unique needs. 

Remote Work 

You will also want to consider your workplace environment. During the pandemic, many business leaders that were not using an intranet quickly started using one. Intranets in remote work environments tend to be much more useful because the employees are not all in a single place, they could be working from home or in multiple offices in other cities. An intranet can help engage employees and increase the speed of information flow. 

How to choose an intranet

Now, when it comes to internet systems, there are many options that you can take advantage of. If you go online and search “intranet” you are going to receive thousands of different websites for different intranet companies. There is no right or wrong answer for which intranet system that you should use, but we recommend businesses that are already leveraging Microsoft 365 to use Microsoft SharePoint as an intranet system. SharePoint is one of the most common intranet systems in the world because it is integrated into the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem. If you have 365 licensing, you have SharePoint, which means that you could build a SharePoint intranet.

In our next blog, we will take a deep dive into getting started with Microsoft SharePoint. If you are interested in training on SharePoint or any other Microsoft 365 tool, visit our training page: https://www.smartdolphins.com/training/