1. What is an Intranet?
As Wikipedia eloquently puts it, a company intranet is “is a computer network that uses Internet Protocol technology to share information, operational systems, or computing services within an organization. This term is used in contrast to extranet, a network between organizations, and instead refers to a network within an organization“.
In other words, company intranets are internal networks where employees and teams can talk and interact with each other, about their daily tasks, projects and so on.
2. Why do companies need an intranet?
Emails are the way that many companies still use for employee communication. Unfortunately, emails aren’t very efficient when it comes to discussing things with more than one person, and they aren’t effective at all when it comes to communicating to other teams about progress, weekly reports, and so on.
An intranet is a perfect place to make sure that the whole company is on the same page, and that everyone knows what is going on.
3. People know what they are working on
Sending a document to your team for review can cause a great deal of confusion when replies start coming back. What is the latest version of the document? Have these edits been seen by the team leader or not? And where is the latest image that you KNOW that you’ve added to the document at least three times?
A company intranet helps clear up these confusions. With one document being worked on that’s located in a central place that the whole team can access, everyone knows what the latest version is.
4. Teams don’t have to be local
With a company intranet making sure that all the workers are up to speed on the latest projects, know what their daily tasks are, and having one central place to store team documents, you don’t really have a need for localized teams anymore. You can have developers from Buenos Aires working alongside designers from Rome, and using QA testers that are based in Canada – and all of them will be able to communicate easily, and take part in online team meetings.
In some Intranets you even have video chat built in, so that you can communicate even more easily.
5. People will use it if it is simple
Just like any other tool people use at work – it will only work and become part of the daily routine if it is easy to use and simple to set up. IF you complicate matters, for example, including video chat but hiding it behind 3 drop down menus, then people will just go back to doing things the way they used to. Make sure that when you DO implement an intranet, that it is one that’s easy to set up (for the administrators) and easy to use (for the teams).