An Intranet is a computer network open to users within an organisation. Intranet strategies
refer to the planned deployment of an intranet in such a way as to achieve one or more
pre-defined organisational objectives.
In recent years it has become the norm for
employees to have access to a computer (or, if a personal computer is impractical or unnecessary, access to a
shared computer). Since the majority of enterprises employ e-mail as a method of communication both
within the organisation and between employees, clients and customers it has also become de rigueur to
provide these desktop computers with access to the Internet.
This improvement in
IT infrastructure has led enterprises to develop their own internal
allowing employees access to secure information both on-site and remotely. However, it is all too
often the case that enterprises do not follow any strategy in the
implementation of their intranet and thus fail to exploit its full
Why have a "strategy"?
Defining what the organisation hopes to achieve from the intranet allows for
proper estimation of costs and budgets.
Involving other departments in the planning makes for a more effective
implementation, and one in which the rest of the workforce has bought into.
Proper planning of the implementation will allow for phasing out of existing
systems (to avoid duplication).
Company growth needs to be factored in to avoid lack of scalability hampering
Defining control: Without a strategy (and control) the quality of content on the
intranet cannot be maintained.
Intranet implementation needs to meet legislative conditions - including on
accessibility - and this needs to be planned for. (legal
issues - pdf)
Without an information audit and proper architecture design it's almost
impossible to make informed choices on variables like the content management
software to be used.
Without a strategy in place it's impossible to measure whether the intranet is
living up to the organisation's expectations.
The strategy itself
The component parts of an effective strategy address the Content, Technology
Governance. Included in there are decisions to be made on standards,
ownership (which department owns the intranet), security (e.g.,
and promoting the use of the intranet within the organisation.
What the intranet does (a background)
Knowledge Management: Organisations can benefit greatly by providing all of their employees access to a wide range of
information, even if the information is only of regular use to a small portion of the workforce.
By using an enterprise Intranet as an information portal, employees can gain access to useful
information of which they may have previously been unaware. Access to such information can increase
productivity, improve decision making and reduce the need to reproduce information each time it is
required. Such information can include, but is not limited to, statistical data, vendor information
and policy documents.
Essentially, using the Intranet as a knowledge management portal enables an enterprise to create
an easily accessible repository of all the knowledge held within the enterprise.
Collaboration and Communication:
In large organisations, and especially in decentralised organisations such as multi-nationals, an
Intranet can be extremely useful as a way of allowing departments and employees to collaborate
effectively and communicate important business information efficiently.
Ideally, an enterprise Intranet will supply a database of contact details for all members of the
enterprise, allowing instant communications to be sent between departments and employees regardless
of physical proximity. By enabling fast and efficient inter-office communication, an Intranet should
assist in increasing efficiency and allow the knowledge held within an organisation to be shared for
the benefit of everyone within the organisation.
Task Completion:As well as using an Intranet to access or communicate knowledge and ideas it can also be useful as a
portal by which members of an organisation can achieve goals and take action.
In every organisation, and especially in large ones, the time and effort involved in arranging the
paperwork to manage human resources can be a major drain on resources and manpower. Fortunately, an
Intranet can be used to devolve this responsibility to each individual employee. When every member of
an organisation has access to an Intranet it becomes possible, and even beneficial, to allow them to
complete administrative paperwork – for instance, time sheets, holiday requests and pension scheme
Delegating responsibility for personal paperwork to employees through an Intranet reduces the
difficulties inherent in managing a large, decentralised workforce from a central human resources
department, thus reducing HR costs and streamlining the administration of the business.
In addition to human resources task completion, an Intranet can also be developed to allow employees
easy access to personal and professional development. By placing development courses in business related
disciplines at their fingertips it becomes much more likely that an employee will choose to develop their
While it may seem as if developing and maintaining an Intranet would be a costly and pointless exercise,
in reality they can play a major role in advancing the goals of an organisation (and can also be simple
* Through knowledge management they can place the know how of the organisation as a whole instantly
at the fingertips of each employee;
* Through collaboration and communication they can allow members of the organisation to effectively
communicate knowledge and concepts to each other;
* Through task completion they can both reduce the burden of human resources staff and give employees
the opportunity to better themselves, resulting in a net gain both to themselves and to the organisation
as a whole.