1. while software engineers (developers) define it as
It is generally accepted that information is a vital commodity for the successful operation of today’s organizations. Nowadays modern business organizations are using computerized information systems in order to obtain such information. However as the technology advances rapidly the main issue is how can an organization should effectively use such an information system – which its management sometimes can be unpredictable – in order to effectively help the whole organization structure to improve and take the most out of it.
This report will try to analyze intranet and its impact on the use of information in organizations, as well as what actions an organization might take to make the most effective use of it.
2. What is intranet?
A lot of definitions have been given about the meaning of intranet. Non-technical management define it as “anything that runs on the internal network”, while software engineers (developers) define it as “a client-server application developed using Web tools that runs in an internal network” – Intranetjournal.com –
Initially the intranet was used fundamentally for sharing information such as policies, procedures and forms. However, the next intranet generation creates a collaborative medium that provides users quick, comprehensive access to everything their jobs require – files, programs, and people, both inside and outside the organization – while capturing and managing each person’s work so that others in turn can find and use it.
Fundamentally the most basic intranet applications in use today – techweb.com – are:
-Deliver internal BBS – and corporate – information sources, such as phone directories, HR databases, forms, and discussion threads.
-Offer a foundation for moving information among offices and departments, whether around the corner at the same site, or across sites on a private internet.
-Support day to day business functions, such as sales tracking, order processing, delivery status, etc.
3. Technology surrounding intranet
Network infrastructure: Network connections on every desktop.
Hardware platforms: This is usually based on the existing platform used in the organization. For example, an NT-based organization will probably select a server with an Intel Processor while a Sun Micro system Inc shop will probably select a Sun Sparc-based server.
Firewalls: A firewall is a physical barrier between the Internet and the local network.
Server software: Today’s Web servers come with a variety of servers ranging from HTML editors in search engines to application servers.
Client Software: Two main browsers here. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Site Management Software: Web site management includes such things as uploading HTML files, showing a graphical view of a site, checking for bad links, etc.
Application development tools: The tools listed under this category have much in common with the site management tools. Both edit HMTL and upload files to the server. The tools have built in support, usually drag and drop, for scripting.
Application servers: These servers use special tags within an HTML file to direct processing. They also can have hooks to call external programs to handle processing that is not built into the server, and they also separate developer and server portions into separate packages.
Implementation approaches: Such as ASP, CGI, Java, Application servers.
4. Intranet architecture
There are several ways to build up an intranet. However some common characteristics of an intranet’s architecture, in order for organizations to gain the more out of it, are:
Integrating information design with business planning
Intranets should help employees to collaborate on business processes, such as product development or order fulfillment, which create value for a company and its customers. Successful intranets allow employees from a variety of departments to contribute the different skills necessary to carry out a particular process. Intranets should be organized primarily around the business processes they help employees carry out, rather than the organization chart of the company.
Successful process-oriented intranets share several common characteristics. First they are built on smart information design, furthermore, they focus on tasks, not documents and aim to integrate those tasks into distinct processes, and finally they encourage collaboration by creating shared and familiar spaces that reflect the personality of the company.
Help your employees
Just as physical work spaces rely on architectural plans to optimize efficiency, an intranet needs to be carefully designed to help employees access information and collaborate effectively. Because the public does not see the intranet, information design for intranets often receives scant attention. Unlike customers, employees are