Introduction to Intranet
Intranet can be defined as the type of computer network that can be accessed only as a private conduit, denied for external devices’ connectivity. This network is named to show the difference between this network and the internet-based network, as the internet covers the external connectivity aspects and intranet covers only internal networking. This connecting system can be of any type, but it requires specific authorization to access this network. It can be accessed across any geographical location, depending on the type of network amongst the various types of LAN’s (Local Areas Networks), namely, a few popular network types are LAN, WAN, VLAN, etc.
How does Intranet work?
Intranet is typically designed and managed by the network architecture or a team network & security management professionals. Similar to any other process in the technical setup activities, the creation of the Intranet network also involves analysis, planning, development, implementation, and maintenance phases. In the Analysis phase, the network requirement for the number nodes, range of usage, type of organization, etc is determined as the first step. As the next step, the team plans a prototype along with the technological needs to achieve the requirement designed during the analysis phase.
The network is then developed as the part of next step in this process, and the hardware required for implementing the network is gathered. In order to implement, the team follows the planned design and uses the gathered hardware. It is simply like fitting in the multiple pieces of a puzzle, with reference to the blueprint, while the blueprint here is the network design prototype generated in the planning phase. After Implementation, comes the maintenance work, where the network security and individual node’s confidentiality are kept up to the standards of the respective organization. Generally, the company should carry out the unfinished measures and validations from their end, as it is the network team’s responsibility only until the implementation phase.
These types of networks are usually designed for permanently placed hosts/ nodes, as they are confined to a fixed physical location with a centralized repository for the servers to reside. In practical aspects, this network acts as the main source for internal communication inside the organization. In terms of technical outlook, the Intranet networking requires an internal server with a feasible capacity to hand communication, load handling, client programs, document sharing, etc. Distinct from other applications, for the network setup and implementation process testing is carried out by the network owners themselves, and not a dedicated team of professionals.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of the same:
Below are the advantages of using the Intranet for the various kinds of internal communication in an organization,
- Lesser Expenses: In place of using the internet network for communicating inside a closed area, Intranet provides benefits with higher difference in cost, by being cheaper than any other networking option for the given small area. As it also allows connecting any type of devices inside the network, there are no restrictions technically, as well as for functioning a normal day to day operation of the organization.
- Digitizing and matching the technological world’s standards: Facilitates in digitizing the office environment without any additional cost or efforts from the employees of the organization. By digitizing, the network stays up to date and aligned with the technological progress and network standards of the Intranet network.
- Effortless File Transfer: Similar to any other network, file transfer is made easy in this type of network as well. One can send or receive files and contents through this network to any other node inside the network. It comes with full file access, with no or limited restrictions as desired by the file owner. The sender can set the permission for the receiver, for the files that are shared in the Intranet.
- Increase in Employee Productivity: In various occasion, by various organizations, it is proved that the Employee Productivity was increased exponentially due to the collaboration enabled amongst them. This helps in the positive factors like time management, meeting deadlines, achieving the required tasks, etc., which in turn results in increased productivity from the Employees side.
Below are the disadvantages:
- Lack of Data Security: Since this network is accessed only internally, it cannot accommodate the advanced security tools, and hence it is vulnerable to hacking and network intruders. This feature of the network makes it weaker than other network types, leaving it exposed to external attacks. This can lead to a bigger loss in business handles.
- No/Lesser In-Person Contact: Though it enables digital communication and collaboration, it also doesn’t encourage in-person interaction between the team members. It is proved in many studies that employees who know each other personally can co-exist with one another to create a highly productive work environment.
- Unfriendly Office Environment: With lesser personal contact between the team members, the work environment gets unfriendly. This can sometimes affect the organization’s productivity.
Application of Intranet in various fields
Below are the areas of application for the Intranet network to be implemented and worked upon,
- In Data Management/ Database Management companies: Intranet is useful in organizations that focus on Data Management activities such as the employee data management, time and expenses reports handling, leaves and payroll management, OLAP based applications, Supply chain management, skills enhancement and maintenance for the employees, employees’ performance assessment, organization’s resource processing, other decision-making processes, etc.
- In Marketing based companies: It is used in promotional advertisements, customer care support, customer feedback management, multimedia or animation based applications, etc.
- In Enabling Communications: In terms of communications, Intranet usage is not limited, and that includes Internet telephoning, chat room communications, push messaging, email communications, video conferencing, etc.
- Academic based organizations: For Academic purposes, Intranets is a greater advantage, as it allows learning online, gaining accreditations, interacting with fellow students, etc.
Intranet requires dedication from the organization which needs it to be implemented, so as to stay committed to the idea of just internal communication, and not to get into the public accessed network. This commitment includes the ability to stay up to date, taking proper measures for successful network maintenance, keeping the network secured and safe from external attacks, etc.
This is a guide to What is Intranet? Here we discuss an introduction to Intranet, how does it work with advantages and disadvantages in detail. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more –