This is mostly because of how well they complement each other. As new technologies develop, businesses incorporate them into their repertoire. Similarly, as businesses progress, they create their own technology that meets their needs.
With so many options for tools to use, you’d think using business technology would be simple. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Over time, businesses might find that their inventory of resources is out of control, and accessing information can become a nightmare. While working through any day, you probably find yourself asking questions about the information you need. Where do I find this information? Who do I ask about it? Where do I share what I’ve found?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single place that enabled communication and stored the resources you need to do your job? Well, my friend, that magical place exists, and it is called an intranet.
An intranet is a private online network that is only accessible to members within an organization. There are a lot of things an intranet can do, but its main purpose is to provide employees with the information, resources, and collaboration tools they need to work towards their goals.
You don’t need to be a huge corporation to benefit from a company intranet. They can serve any team, in any business, within any industry.
What is the purpose of intranet?
I’m sure you’re wondering what an intranet can do for your business. I think the better question is: what can’t an intranet do for your business. It can’t make your lunch or notice you got a haircut, but what it can do is a lot more impressive.
An intranet acts as the backbone of internal communication. The business world moves quickly, and establishing an intranet as your business’s single source for information, communication, and collaboration boosts productivity. Once your team nails productivity, success will follow.
Difference between internet, intranet, and extranet
An intranet is an online source of information used by businesses.
Wait a minute. That sounds a lot like the internet and extranet. These three tools are similar, so let’s distinguish between them before we move on.
The internet is open to everyone that owns a device that can access it. A free-for-all, per se.
An intranet is locked up and only accessible to people within a specific organization.
An extranet is similar to an intranet, but certain people outside the organization can access it as well.
The internet and extranet are great tools for any user, but let’s dive deeper into intranets.
Intranet features and benefits
If you are thinking about incorporating an intranet into your business’s internal communication plan, you’re on your way to productivity. Before implementing this, there are some features you might want to make sure are included for you and your company to reap all possible intranet benefits.
Managing and sharing documents is one of the most important features of an intranet. Ensuring all team members have the knowledge base they need to add value to the business should be a priority.
Because business is anything but stagnant, knowledge bases are constantly changing. Policies, procedures, goals, and company personnel require regular updates, and communicating them to the entire business can be done using an intranet.
A proper intranet software organizes company documents and makes them easily accessible to members of the company.
Internal knowledge is valuable, sensitive information. Intranets can not only provide a location for company data, but they can also keep it secure from external audiences.
Teamwork is key in the workplace. Even if you are tackling a project on your own, there will be times when you need information, advice, or approval from others to move forward.
The usage of various internal communication channels within one company can create clutter, causing employees to miss important tidbits of information. A company intranet eliminates these problems.
Intranets include features in which team members can easily collaborate throughout the entire process of a project. You can share your information on the intranet, and it will be waiting there for whoever might need it.
Benefit: Better internal communication occurring across all levels. A company intranet allows communication to move from peer to peer, subordinate to superior, or vice versa.
Communication tips for any channel
There are a lot of different ways to communicate, but no matter which one you use, use these etiquette tips to be heard -- without being offensive.
Ability to create groups
A lot of different departments exist within a business: human resources, accounting, marketing, etc. They all matter to the success of the business, but they might require different information to contribute to it.
An intranet allows groups to be created to further organize information according to the team’s function. Including all the information from every team in the same place can get in the way and discourage people from using your company’s intranet, and separating it is a good way to avoid this. But of course, there will be spaces with information that is relevant to all company members, no matter their department.
Creating groups on your company intranet is a must for project management. A shared space where all members working on the same project can communicate, collaborate on tasks, and stay updated on progress helps simplify the process.
Benefit: Organization. Some resources are specific to certain teams, so creating groups based on team function can filter out unnecessary information.
Search engine and simple user interface
Intranets provide all of a company’s information in one place. This is extremely convenient. It’s also a lot of information.
Intranets kindly offer search tools. Employees can enter a general keyword and browse results for the information they need or even search the exact name of the document.
Along the lines of navigation within a search tool, a streamlined user interface (UI) will make your intranet much easier to use. A clear and organized interface with relevant drop-down menu items and action buttons make an intranet more functional and user-friendly.
Benefit: Boosts efficiency. With the help of search tools and simple UI design, intranet users can be in and out and back to work with the information they need in minutes.
Ability to customize
Every business is different, meaning your intranet should be unique to your company. The intranet software you choose should be flexible in meeting the needs of your business. This might mean highlighting certain tools to make the site more user-friendly or simply adding branded images to personalize it.
One of the more interesting and exciting features about employee intranet software is that if it doesn’t already include a feature you need, it can integrate other commonly used software that can then be accessed through your company intranet.
Benefit: Adds to company culture. Whatever your company stands for should be at the forefront of your intranet software to remind employees of the purpose and culture of the business.
The complete package
Using a company intranet can help relieve the stressors of internal communication. The features provide a home for all of the information, resources, and collaboration tools employees need to be productive and contribute to company goals. Even if your business is already running like a well-oiled machine, a solid company intranet can only add more oil.
As businesses grow, they incorporate more and more software tools into their repertoire. They can pile up fast, and managing software can become a giant pain. With G2 Track, you can efficiently manage and optimize your SaaS spend.
Mary Clare Novak is a Content Marketing Specialist at G2 based in Burlington, Vermont, where she is currently exploring topics related to sales and customer relationship management. In her free time, you can find her doing a crossword puzzle, listening to cover bands, or eating fish tacos. (she/her/hers)