What Is an Intranet, and Why Should You Have One for Your Business?

What Is an Intranet, and Why Should You Have One for Your Business?

Every successful business leader appreciates the value that the internet and modern technology can bring to their organisation, but it’s quite a different matter to choose specific tools and platforms for the job. The fact that every company has a different set of goals and operational procedures means there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all technology infrastructure that works for everyone.

One solution that is often overlooked is an intranet, which is just like a website that’s only accessible to a specific company or organisation like a school or government agency. In many ways, an intranet is the same as the internet, albeit on a far smaller scale. It uses similar communications systems, such as websites, web apps, and instant messengers, thereby providing the collaboration and productivity tools that a modern business needs to function.

Providing a centralised hub for company-wide information sharing

Traditionally, an intranet is hosted on an in-house server to provide a small, private ‘internet’ to a specific organisation. These days, SharePoint intranet solutions like Valo Intranet can also be hosted in the cloud on a server in a remote data centre, which tends to be the preferable choice for smaller businesses that neither want nor need to maintain their own on-premises systems. As a tailor-made and highly customisable platform, an intranet is ideal for sharing data.

As is the case with the public internet, your organisation’s private intranet can host any of the same type of systems, such as newsgroups, websites, employee blogs, or anything else you’d typically find on the internet. The only difference is that it’s only for your company, which makes it a great way to share company-wide information discretely and efficiently without any external interference.

A growing business, for example, might want a knowledge base complete with frequently asked questions, research resources, project outlines, or technical guides for onboarding new employees. A lot of business leaders decide to build intranets using Wiki software, which is behind Wikipedia and thousands of other websites, but in our experience doing so leads to a precipitous drop in employees using the platform.

What makes an intranet so valuable for many modern businesses is that it provides an instantly familiar platform (much like the web) for distributing information, sharing company goals and initiatives, and providing a hub for collaboration. Creating an intranet based on applications like Office 365 and SharePoint makes it a breeze to manage event details, connect employees, centralise data storage, and increase team mobility.

Empowering scalability and accessibility with the cloud

Modern companies generate vast amounts of digital data, especially when they’re in the process of moving to a paperless operating environment. As a business grows, so do its data-storage requirements and computing workloads. That’s why scalability is now of crucial importance, as is accessibility from anywhere in an age when more people are working from home or on the move than ever before.

Larger companies, which typically have the funds and in-house expertise needed to run on-premises intranet servers, often keep everything in their own data centres. However, smaller organisations may instead prefer to set up a cloud-hosted intranet that’s accessible through the internet. Either way, you’ll have your own private corporate network, although the cloud offers almost unlimited scalability.

Since your intranet is yours alone to customise and expand, you can easily scale the system as needed. For example, a corporate intranet platform like Valo for SharePoint can accommodate extra functionality in the form of social hubs, online video portals, and advanced analytics. Whether you want to motivate your users with gamification, add support for extra languages, or brand your pages, the intranet provides a range of options.

A corporate intranet doesn’t have to be outdated and cumbersome. Total Calibration can help you build an efficient company-wide on-premises or cloud-hosted intranet in as little as four weeks. Talk to us today if you’re ready to start your digital transformation.

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