What is an Intranet Portal?

Enterprise Social Intranet

Intranet Portal Explained

Companies use Intranet portals to create a centralized and personalized work environment. Like a private Internet, an Intranet portal provides management tools, document repositories and software to employees. The improved accessibility through a managed network often results in productivity and profitability gains.

Intranet technology often uses software platforms like Microsoft SharePoint to provide access to internal company resources. However, many companies use traditional Web servers to create a private ‘cloud’ that equips employees on the network with all the tools they need to do their work. Many technologies that power the Internet also power Intranets. These might include remote access, security, integration and software applications.

Intranet technology makes automating a variety of management tasks possible. Companies often use Intranets to provide access to remote employees. Like employees at the office, workers around the globe can access company news, documents, and IT resources.

The primary benefit of Intranet technology is its ability to create a unified gateway to all corporate resources. Through this portal, employees can access all the corporate resources they need. The familiarity of a Web-based interface saves time for the company because Intranet users can serve themselves with needed data, forms and tools. Intranet portals help individual users because they can do their jobs better and produce more.

Control is an important benefit of an Intranet portal. Many companies that use cloud-based software depend on a service provider to manage their software and keep their data secure. Rather than rely on those external providers and the public Internet, companies create their own cloud. This allows a firm to control fully all their applications and data without trusting third-party service providers.

Creating an Intranet involves similar steps to those needed for setting up a Web site. Information Technology personnel select a platform and then build a portal on it to suit the needs of their organization. Also like a Web site, security issues occupy much Intranet management time. Once active, the portal can serve users with cloud-based applications on its Intranet, share calendars for scheduling, and allow groups to work together on projects.

Some people malign Intranets because they often fail to develop to a usable level. However, corporate culture, not technology often decides their condition. Many companies want an Intranet portal but fail to give enough time and labor to make it a success. Because of this, Intranet portals often contain obsolete information and lack usefulness. Continued neglect speeds up the decay of a portal, sending users scrambling to find alternate ways to do their work.

An Intranet portal needs wholehearted commitment from managers and executives to overcome ineffectiveness. With satisfactory funding and staffing, employees will take advantage of their corporate Intranet portal. Portals that are accessible and usable will soon become profitable.

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