Employee Intranet Technology

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In its earliest days, what we know as the Internet was much more like an intranet-a limited-access, limited-size network of interfacing computers tasked with achieving specific organizational objectives by facilitating communication through the network. The typical modern private intranet retains these features while maintaining intraorganizational security and confidentiality.

In many organizations, the intranet is now indispensable to operations. Correlative with this growth is an increasing awareness of the need for security, as more and more core facets and sensitive data of organizational operations are delegated to the Intranet. Moreover, organizational intranet data users and generators produce important statistics about themselves, which can be consolidated and analyzed through various services and programs, e.g., intranet statistics programs.

The possibility that an organizational intranet may develop social network features needs to be considered in terms of its desirability, as employees use the intranet to communicate about as well as with each other. According to one comprehensive intranet-use survey, at least 61% of surveyed companies have at least one social media tool available to employees.

An intranet is a private network whose use is restricted within an organization, e.g., to employees or authorized members. Like a private form of Internet, the main objective of an intranet is to let the organization's employees share information and computing resources with each other. It can also be used to facilitate group projects and teleconferences. An intranet usually uses HTTP, TCP/IP and other Internet protocols. Sometimes, a part of the intranet (which is known as the extranet) is also made accessible to outsiders (i.e., customers, suppliers or partners).

Using an intranet has the following advantages. Firstly, the intranet is a useful tool for sharing and disseminating information, which in turn will help to promote employee productivity as employees now find it more convenient to collaborate in their work. Moreover, it is also easier for employees to keep track of various aspects of the work. Secondly, there is a common pool of information for employees to refer to, which helps to increase work efficiency. For example, the data from email exchanges can be archived as a future source of reference. Thirdly, as a simple and standardized form of communication, it can help to cut overhead costs. With an intranet, an organization can publish most of its documents through the intranet, saving it the money on printing and distributing documents. Hence, using an intranet appeals to small organizations and businesses because not only is it not very expensive to build and manage, it also brings about significant savings in the long run.

For large organizations, the usual practice is to allow their employees to access the Internet through firewall servers or special encryption/decryption procedures, while maintaining security by screening out messages or inappropriate Internet access.
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