Intranet has developed significantly in the past two decades. Today’s intranet service providers have upped their game providing unique networking functions to their clients. For instance, business and organizations can now access centralized document repositories, customized forms, and efficient social networking tools. The evolution of cloud technology has also been a game changer in the evolution of intranets. As a result of these progressive changes, these systems now allow a harmonious association between different segments of organizations. It has also given business managers and their associates an avenue through which they can share information seamlessly.
An intranet is a private secure network that facilitates interaction, collaboration, and information sharing among a group of people. Companies use intranets to allow their employees to work in association in a virtual space. Unlike in extranets, information found in intranets is not shared with third parties. They have become quite essential because they streamline the daily business activities, organize people and information, and allow employee engagement.
As most organizations spread their holdings across the globe, intranets have a huge role to play now more than ever before. Remote employees can now access their details and work updates through convenient portals. They are also able to contribute in important decisions irrespective of their location.
Intranet software systems perform critical duties within an organization. They play a role in managing policy documents, facilitating communication and collaboration, and developing organizational cultures. These intranets also help in tracking corporate activities such as expense forms and reports. Today, numerous intranet service providers provide cutting-edge software to satisfy the ever rising demand. Unlike the cloud systems, these intranet systems have to be installed in an organizations server after purchase. They are, therefore, accompanied by installation costs, maintenance expenses, and equipment purchases.
Microsoft SharePoint is an example of an intranet software for businesses. Large companies mainly use it for management of large documents and work collaboration. SharePoint has a strong centralized support system which is managed by a designated IT team. Web CMS software is another popular intranet solution. It is best suited for business with a decentralized system of governance. All the affiliate branches of a corporation are allowed to manage their own section of the intranet.
Cloud-based intranet systems have taken the social technology arena by a storm. In this kind of system, an enterprise uploads all its details including internal documents, policies and checklists, employee forms, client contacts, and other private corporate resources to a cloud hosted by a third party. Cloud intranet is offered on a SaaS (software-as-a-service) basis. This means that business owners have to pay for its use over a designated period.
The adoption of these intranets does not call for the purchase of new equipment or software. All the networking resources are availed by the service provider, who’s also in charge of security and system updates. Cloud intranets are advantageous because they do not require a significant capital outlay. Once the subscribers have paid the monthly/annual subscription fee, they can begin sharing information and collaborating seamlessly with their associates.
Besides SharePoint and Web CMS software, the following are some popular intranet software vendors.
Other noteworthy Intranet providers include Google Apps, Communifire, Jostle, Oracle’s Plum Tree, and Microsoft’s Yammer.