According to Axero, “an intranet is a network where employees can create content, communicate, collaborate and get stuff done.” In this 2-part series, we will discuss intranets and extranets, how they are used, their benefits for businesses, and how they differ.
What is an intranet?
Intranets are private, secured networks that are used to share information effectively within a company. The goal of an intranet is to ease communication, collaboration and document sharing for people within an organization. Intranets provide a virtual space for employees to work together, which is great for when people are spread out geographically. Overall, an intranet optimizes exiting business processes to centralize information, reduce complexity and maximize productivity.
Businesses can use intranets for a variety of reasons:
- Streamline day to day activity by making repetitive tasks easier to complete
- Improve internal communication with employee directories, company news and organization charts
- Increase employee engagement by minimizing and centralizing “locked up” information
- Collaboration is made easier as employees can share information across the board
- Provides personalized information and content to users based on role
- Provides easy access to important information including policies, benefits and company updates
- Centralize and organize company data into a single database
Why should I consider an intranet for my business?
As companies continue to become more and more decentralized, intranets are becoming increasingly important in the business landscape. Secure intranets are the fastest growing segment of the internet because they are less expensive to maintain compared to private networks. Harvard Business School conducted an ROI-engagement study that revealed for every 1% increase in employee engagement, the return on investment (ROI) for a social intranet increased 1000%.
Investing in a corporate intranet can benefit your business in many ways:
- Increase your bottom line by engaging your employees
- Increase employee productivity by reducing unnecessary email use by 25%
- Gives you a competitive edge by increasing your profitability, productivity and customer happiness
Research done by Jive Software indicates that 90% of companies using social technologies report business benefit from them including:
- 5x increased likelihood of outperforming the competition
- 18% higher revenue per employee
Many organizations have adopted corporate intranets and saw measurable results:
- Cisco accelerated its time-to-market by 12-18 months through global collaboration in engineering. They were able to increase their innovation speed with the use of an intranet.
- 52% of employees at IBM were more satisfied because of how accessible information was on their corporate intranet. Because of this, they were able to better retain their employees.
- McAfee created a collaborative online community for its customer support staff. By doing this, they were able to cut call handling costs by $2.6 million.
In a constantly evolving and innovative digital world, you always want to be searching for the next best thing. If you want your business to gain a competitive edge and keep your employees engaged, an intranet may be for you. After all, a happy worker is a productive worker and that keeps your business moving forward.
In part 2 of this series, we will discuss extranets.