Intranets and Extranets

A company Intranet software is an internal network used by employees to securely share information and computing resources, including applications, forms, documents and databases of corporate records. It also encourages communication among employees and provides a collaborative environment. An intranet is similar to the Internet, except it’s a private network accessible only by company personnel through a special network connection, such as a virtual private network (VPN) or cable modem.

The intranet’s security is maintained through firewall software, which tracks incoming and outgoing data packets to confirm that they’re not malicious. The system’s server also stores a database of usernames who have access to the intranet, making it easy for IT staff to control who sees what on the network.

Modern versions of intranets incorporate a variety of tools for team collaboration and work efficiency. For example, an intranet may host a video-conferencing platform for employee meetings and group projects. The software also makes it possible to create smaller groups within a large department based on interest or allow employees to acknowledge each other for jobs well done. It’s important to note that the success of an intranet depends on employee participation rates. Social intranets, which resemble consumer applications and put a focus on engagement, are more effective for encouraging employee involvement than instant messaging channels that can get lost in the shuffle.

An intranet can be connected to an extranet, which grants access to a segment of the private network for customers, vendors and partners. The extranet is usually accessed via a VPN, which ensures that outsiders do not gain unauthorized access to the private information and applications that are shared on an intranet.

While a well-designed intranet can improve workplace productivity and make it easier to manage projects, the network can present some challenges. For instance, social intranets can have a negative impact on mental health because they can foster addiction to the platform. In addition, conversations on the platform can veer off into non-work-related subjects or become offensive, so it’s essential to have a clear policy for managing those situations.