featured image for "What Is Intranet," a blog from hubley's intranet basics series.

What Is Intranet?

Are you looking for a way to unify your workforce, promote collaboration, and enhance information-sharing across teams and departments? If so, it’s time to invest in an intranet. But what is intranet, exactly? More importantly, how can one add value to your business?  

In this guide, you will learn about this valuable business tool, compare intranet vs. internet, and outline the benefits you can unlock by investing in your own intranet ecosystem.  

What Is an Intranet? 

An intranet is a private network used within an organization to facilitate communication and information sharing among workers. It serves as a centralized platform for accessing internal resources, documents, applications, and tools. In today’s digital age, remote work and global teams are commonplace. Intranets play a crucial role in keeping these teams connected.  

While you can customize your intranet instance to align with the unique needs of your business, most ecosystems include the following features: 

  • Internal communication tools (e.g., email, instant messaging) 
  • Document management and file-sharing capabilities 
  • Employee directories and organizational charts 
  • Collaboration tools (e.g., project management, team workspaces) 
  • News and announcement sessions 
  • Training and development resources 
  • Integration with other business systems (e.g., CRM) 

By consolidating these features, intranet software provides your team with a single hub to access important resources and productivity tools.  

There’s a common misconception that intranets are outdated. While they have been around for decades, modern platforms are sophisticated, incorporating cutting-edge tech and features to meet the evolving needs of your business.  

Another falsity is that intranets are hard to implement. Fortunately, you can enjoy a seamless implementation by investing in a cloud-based intranet solution like SharePoint and by teaming with a hands-on deployment partner like hubley 

The Evolution of Intranet Technology  

Intranets first hit the scene in the early 1990s as internal networks that allowed employees to access corporate information and resources using web browsers. These early platforms primarily focused on document sharing and basic communication. 

Since then, intranet technology has evolved into a fully integrated solution that features advanced tools. By sharing information with other software, the modern intranet accelerates the flow of data across a business and helps employees make decisions in real time. The result is a more nimble and resilient business.  

Key Components of an Intranet 

While all parts of an intranet are important, the foundation of this ecosystem is a consolidated environment where employees can access a wide array of vital data. The modern intranet serves as a hub for learning about recent and upcoming events, accessing training resources, reviewing company policies, and collaborating with other departments.  

You can build out the capabilities of your intranet platform by adopting third-party integrations, such as those offered by hubley. Our suite of add-ons augments the capabilities of SharePoint by providing you with project management, policy, onboarding, and support ticket hubs.  

Benefits of Intranet 

By adopting a robust intranet solution, you can unlock a multitude of benefits, including the following: 

Improved Communication 

Disparate communication channels are the enemy of productivity. By consolidating the way your team interacts with one another, you can streamline the flow of information.  

Enhanced Collaboration 

Teams can’t work together effectively if they have no way of talking and sharing data. An intranet provides the ideal platform for collaboration, allowing employees to pool their collective talents for the good of the business.  

Streamlined Administrative Processes 

Are you tired of wasting countless hours updating calendars, making news bulletins, and engaging in other tedious administrative tasks? An intranet can put those problems in the rearview mirror for good. The best platforms include automation and scheduling tools that will save you time and free up more of your week to tackle important tasks.  

Centralized Access to Information  

If someone needs to review a policy or reach out to the head of another department, they can use the intranet as their guide. It is a one-stop shop for all important company information.  

Integration With Business Systems and Apps 

Intranet solutions like hubley integrate with SharePoint, Microsoft Office 365, and a wide range of other business tools. And combining hubley and SharePoint allows you to enjoy a holistic view of your organization and inform decision-making with real-time insights.  

Uses of Intranet 

Businesses in a wide range of industries use intranet technology to support their long-term success. Some sectors that rely on intranets include financial services, retail, construction, manufacturing, and many others. These businesses use the technology for: 

  • Internal communication and messaging 
  • Document management and file sharing 
  • Project collaboration 
  • Employee training and development 
  • HR and employee self-service functions 
  • Corporate announcements and news updates 

In addition to traditional office-based industries, intranets are widely used in sectors such as healthcare, education, government, and non-profit organizations.  

Planning and Implementing an Intranet 

Are you ready to rethink the way your team works together? If so, here’s how to plan and implement your intranet: 

  • Identify what your company needs and what areas it would like to improve 
  • Determine key stakeholders  
  • Compare multiple solutions and identify the right option for your business 
  • Customize the software to meet specific business needs 
  • Provide training and support for your staff to ease change-related stress 
  • Regularly evaluate and update the intranet to ensure its efficacy 

While you are at it, make sure to explore third-party add-ons. For instance, hubley offers numerous modules designed to expand the capabilities of SharePoint, a cloud-based intranet. When you pair your solution with dynamic modules, you can condense your time to value and boost ROI.  

The Difference Between Intranet and Internet 

Now, let’s explore intranet vs. internet. The Internet is a global network that connects millions of devices worldwide, allowing users to access information, websites, and online services. Conversely, an intranet is a private network used exclusively by a single organization for internal communication and information sharing.  

If you need to communicate or share information outside your company, you’ll need the internet. If you want to promote collaboration among employees, use the intranet. That’s all there is to it. 

Are You Ready to Unlock the Power of an Intranet?  

Integrating an intranet into your business model can promote better collaboration and accelerated decision-making while also making your team feel empowered. If you’d like to learn more about the capabilities of intranet technology, connect with hubley and explore our suite of modular solutions. Request a demo of hubley to learn more.  

 

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