Intranet Guide

The Benefits

Intranets can benefit all kinds of organisations – from businesses with only a handful of employees to large international enterprises.

Research carried out by Cranfield University for consultants Cap Gemini found that intranets generally develop in three stages:

  • Firstly, they become an electronic replacement for existing paperbased information – such as internal telephone directories.
  • Next, they become more intuitive, with staff comfortably completing timesheets or expense reports on the intranet.
  • Finally, a mature intranet sees staff sharing knowledge seamlessly, collaborating online, and managing projects and workflow electronically.

The specific advantages will depend on the type of solution you choose to implement, but the primary benefits generally include:

  • Reduced costs – thanks to decreased printing and paper requirements, improved communication, shared software and more efficient utilisation of staff time arising from quicker access to information.
  • Improved productivity – through access to a single central repository of data, reducing duplication and improving accuracy when dealing with customers and suppliers.
  • Increased security – due to information sharing and e-mail traffic over an internal private network, rather than the public channel of the internet.
  • Better customer service – thanks to quicker more accurate access to customer account details and pricing and product information.
  • Scalability – because of the flexible nature of intranets it’s easy to add additional users and increased capacity, at a relatively modest cost.

As your organisation grows more comfortable with its intranet you can also expect to enjoy:

  • More cost-effective IT spend – by developing your existing, flexible infrastructure rather than replacing it.
  • Increased competitiveness – thanks to better information access, improved customer service, knowledge sharing and being quicker to market.
  • Streamlined administration – with many standard tasks such as expense reports, timesheets and calendar sharing becoming largely self-administered.
  • Virtual networking – as the staff in your office, on the road and at home can all access and update the same core data.
  • Easier training of new employees – intranets are well suited to carrying induction programmes.
  • Calendar and diary sharing – your intranet can carry individual diaries, schedules for workgroups and bookable resources such as meeting rooms for efficient working.
  • Extranet-ready – open up your intranet so that it becomes an extranet, allowing trading partners access to some or all of the information you hold. Not all of your intranet information needs to be on your extranet – you can control access to commercially sensitive information by passwords.

© Crown Copyright. 04/663; 04/04

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