What is an intranet? – Back to Basics

Interested in intranets and want to know more? Looking for a starting point? Read on to discover what a modern intranet can do for your organisation.

What is an intranet? Put simply, it’s an internal website for the people who work in your organisation. It lets colleagues stay up-to-date with what’s going on across your business, access the most recent versions of key internal documents, and share their own knowledge and insight.

What kind of things go on an intranet?

Intranets can hold any kind of information that is relevant to your business. Whether it’s dynamic, fast-changing information such as breaking news alerts, or more documents that change less frequently, like HR policies, it’ll be at home on a modern intranet.

An intranet can also link in to your staff directory and provide an easy way of finding the right colleagues.

Why would a business want an intranet?

By storing your information on an intranet, everyone has access to the most up-to-date information available, wherever they are. Done right, an intranet can become a trusted first port of call every time a member of staff needs to find a document or person, or simply wants to know what’s going on in the business.

You can discover some more about the features of a modern intranet in the product description for our Kira intranet solution.

Intranets aren’t terrible any more

You may be unfortunate enough to have experienced an intranet in the 1990s. Or – worse still – you might have recently been subjected to an intranet that wouldn’t have been out-of-place in the 1990s.

The good news is that things have really moved on, and intranets today are as powerful and easy to use as many popular websites. In short, they help you get the job done.

You can read more about how intranets have changed for the better in our earlier blog post.

Intranets aren’t expensive any more

How expensive something is depends not just on what you pay, but what value you get from it.

It used to be the case that intranets were built from the ground up for every company. That lead to high development costs and high maintenance costs, putting an intranet out-of-reach for all but the biggest organisations.

Fortunately, we’ve now reached a point where, if you’re big enough to want an intranet, you can have one. Intranet solutions now exist that meet most companies’ needs, whatever their size, at a price that is readily affordable.

The change has come about because of advances in how intranets are built.

A new way forward

Rather than building every intranet from scratch, a number of modern solutions opt for a different route, based on the fact that most intranets share certain features in common.

Those features, such as navigation menus, news widgets, and search functions, are pre-written in a way that means they can be rapidly deployed again and again.

These basic building blocks can be quickly assembled into a working intranet, allowing the focus to quickly shift from the build itself to customisation and the meeting of your business’s unique needs.

Another traditional stumbling point for smaller businesses was the fact you needed your own IT infrastructure to host one.

Today, that issue is solved by hosting in the cloud. Your intranet can now live in a stable, secure, remote environment, professionally managed on your behalf, for a fraction of the cost of running the same systems in-house.

Starting the journey

If you’re ready to find out more about intranets, why not check out some of our recent blogs?

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits and features of a truly modern intranet, have a look at our Kira intranet solution.

It’s designed to meet the needs of every size of organisation, and is used by everyone from Standard Life, Tesco Bank and major public sector organisations, to SMEs, charities and smaller public bodies.

If you have questions about any aspect of our work, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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