The benefits of the intranet must be obvious. Sharing resources securely without having to worry about Reception, Security, Embarrasing Situations, and Snooping of Content.
Cutting down on costs in the long run. Cutting down time immediately. Collaborating without the hassles of keeping records. No longer having to wait for people. No longer having to worry about enforcement of policies. Ability to share different types of content. Ability to share without hesitation and fear.
Intranets can be used to :
- Share Mission Critical Resources
- Share News
- Share Ideas
- Formulate Schedules
- Track Submissions
- Review Progress
- Control Versions
- Market Internal
- Collaborate between Teams
Departments that need Intranets:
- Administrative - Calendars, Emergency Procedures, Meeting Room Bookings, Procedure Manuals and Membership of Internal Committees and Groups.
- Corporate - Business Plans, Client / Customer Lists, Document Templates, Branding Guidelines, Mission Statements, Press Coverage and Staff Newsletters.
- Financial - Annual Reports and Organisational Performance.
- IT - Virus Alerts, Tips on dealing with Hardware Problems, Software and Networks, Policies on Corporate use of Email and Internet Access and a list of online training courses and support.
- Marketing - Competitive Intelligence with links to Competitor websites, Corporate brochures, Latest marketing initiatives, Press releases, and Presentations.
- Human Resources - Appraisal procedures and schedules, Employee policies, Expenses forms and annual leave requests, Staff discount schemes, and New vacancies.
- Individual Projects - Current project detail
The extranet is an extension of the intranet to the firm's, including partners, suppliers and so on. The term is sometimes used to refer to a supplementary system working alongside the intranet or to a part of the intranet that is made available to certain external users.
The extranet provides a shared network with limited, controlled access to organizational information and knowledge resources, and uses security protocols, such as authentication, to limit access. An extranet can enhance collaboration and information transfer with partners in the external network.
Security is a key concern, and a firm must protect its crucial knowledge and information resources. This can be done using firewalls, use of encryption, and simple or strong authentication. Simple authentication involves usernames and passwords, while strong authentication makes use of digital certificates.
The content of both intranets and extranets is usually managed with a content management system.