Intranets are internal networks that behave like the outside Internet and are a vital part of business communications. They enable effective and timely communication within a business using the platform of the Internet. An intranet can be configured personally for every employee, giving them access to only the information they require to successfully accomplish their set tasks.
Advantage of Sharing of Information
The functionality of intranets can enable greater sharing of information, and collaboration, across the organisation. Documents can be stored centrally and accessed by anyone with the appropriate clearance. Printers can be controlled centrally. Notice boards, search engines and directories can be added to further facilitate the flow of information. Task-management functions and calendars can be added to greater assist cross-functional teams. Online training can also be made available to further resource employees.
Advantage of Security
Data security is a major concern of any business and the intranet adds extra concerns in this area. All information is password protected, but intranets are able to be customised to the individual employee, to reduce the possibility of unauthorised access to sensitive information.
Disadvantage of Cost
In the initial set-up of the intranet system, cost can be considerable. The size and complexity will determine the outlay. Ongoing upgrades and necessary maintenance and improvements can greatly add to cost overruns. Training staff to use the system can be a significant cost.
Disadvantage of Complexity
The complexity of the system can inhibit the use of the system. Employees can perceive it to be too difficult to understand and therefore not use it to its maximum effectiveness. They may feel overloaded by the amount of information that it contains. Complexity can also add to the management needed by the IT department. Breakdowns or time offline can also be a problem that needs to be managed with such a complex system.