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Benefits of Deploying an Intranet for Small Businesses

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Intranet is the same thing as the internet with one exception.  The intranet is designed to work within a private domain where the internet is for use outside of the company, public domain. 

Most large corporations use intranet services to easily communicate with large groups of employees. 

However the intranet is just as important to small business as well as virtual companies that only have telecommuters working from their own homes across the country,  companies that have employees who are constantly in the field such as servicemen or consultants.  These types of companies and more would find using an intranet very useful.  The key is to keep all of your employees well informed on a continual basis.  Intranet users can send company wide memos, or post weekly reports on an intranet forum.  Instant messaging or establishing a chat forum on the intranet can help employees who may be working on team projects to easily communicate with each other without leaving their desks.

 

The intranet can prove valuable to personnel and payroll departments by being able to post employee forms on the intranet for employees to fill out such as annual leave, sick day slips or provide a paperless office where employees can securely view their pay details online.

 

When considering setting up the intranet for a small business, talk with your employees about what they would like to have on the intranet.  For example, the individual who handles your payroll may like to post all time cards or schedule slips on the intranet.  The administrative assistant to the owner of the small business may like to post various company functions, or reports that other employees may need access to.  Develop a good design for your intranet by having everything planned clearly such as where to find forms, how to send a message to the rest of the company, etc.  Once you have your intranet up and running you will need to delegate an employee to update and maintain the intranet.  Whether you choose one person or several depends on the size of your company.  The person's responsibility will be to keep the intranet updated with all current happenings within the company and also to run maintenance for the intranet.  Take into consideration the amount of time that will need to be spent to perform these functions.  This will become part of the employee’s job functions and not something extra when they have the time.  Also keep in mind that the person will need to be trained in how to update and run maintenance on the intranet.

 

Having a company intranet can increase employee productivity by having all information at their fingertips on the intranet.  Employees will be able to access reports needed to complete their jobs by having the reports posted on the intranet.  News about competitors or new vendors can be posted on the intranet. 

Getting the intranet setup can be expensive on the initial output if you do not have anyone within your company that has IT experience to build an intranet. You may have to hire an outside company that is experienced in this field.  Also, if you do not have anyone within your company that is capable of running IT support you may want to consider getting the same company that designed your intranet to also perform all IT functions needed to maintain it.  Once everything is in place you will begin to see the ROI by increased productivity and more effective communication by having everyone within your business up to date on all information. 

- Adelaide Business Computer Services