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How does an intranet benefit an organisation?

The intranet was very functional and but with functionality comes complexity. In this article we will cover, What is the objective of an intranet?, How does my organisation choose an intranet?, When should we use an intranet? and How can it help our organisation?

What is the objective of an intranet?

Have you ever been in a meeting that is dragging on and on about things that are happening in your business but are really wasting every ones time? The information can be very useful but in this format it is just slowing the teams productivity. The use of an intranet fixes this issue. Someone suggested to me one day it is the brain of the organisation, and in essence they are right, it stores information that can be recalled at anytime.

When should we use an intranet?

This question is always being asked and the short answer is What do you want people in your organisation to know? The issue is working out what is relevant information, where do I put it and who should know? What tends to happen is these three principles are not adhered to and the whole system becomes a great big mess. It then is hard to find things quickly or with any relevance to the user. The intranet can be used in any organisation at anytime but there needs to be defined boundaries when adding data.

How does my organisation choose an intranet?

When choosing an intranet there are three main areas that need to be considered security, functionality and usability. What usually happens is security and functionality are considered the priority. This is most likely because the network administrator is making the call they are relying on their skill set which is not wrong but they can miss the point. Going back to the original situation the people in this organisation were not using the intranet because of its functionality, or lack of, they only needed to update and add information. They refused to because of the complexity. In reality the software was highly in-affective. When choosing an intranet people have to consider usability. This is what the good companies do well and the rest are left behind. If you consider your audience and find what works for them, tools like an intranet will be used more fully, but it is often over looked. Have you ever been frustrated by not being able to program your dvd player or some other device the majority of the time usability is the issue. An intranet has to have multiple views so that whoever logs on can only see what is appropriate for them. The layout has to be clean and simple with terms that are not confusing and this will benefit the user and the success of your intranet.

How can it help our organisation?

All organisations can benefit from an intranet. If implemented properly it has many advantages and will ultimately lift productivity here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Clear communication for all departments.
  2. Ability to collate information about the organisation in one spot.
  3. Secure storage of documentation for the organisation.
  4. Searchable indexes for user to obtain information quickly.
  5. Helps build community if the content is used and added in an appropriate way.
  6. Encourages less duplication.

Intranets are an important tool of today's world and if used properly the benefits are many but it comes with a caveat they have to be designed and developed with the user in mind. The organisation that wants to use an intranet to streamline and improve work flow would be wise to consider intranet circumstances and what they need it to achieve.