Should Your Small Business Have an Intranet? 7 Pros and Cons » Small Business Bonfire


Do you have an intranet? If not, you should consider having one. An intranet is a virtual network that helps employees connect among themselves and with company information.

They can be used for all kinds of things, from company news to employee training to files. A virtual intranet makes it easier for employees to get work done by providing a centralized location for everything related to their job. 

It also makes it easier for customers and vendors to find information about your company without searching numerous websites or spreadsheets. However, having an intranet comes with some significant drawbacks.

If you don’t know what kind of risks you’re willing to accept, check out these pros and cons before deciding whether or not your team should have one.

Pros

Connect With Remote Workforce

Remote workers have several advantages when using an internet-based network such as an intranet. They don’t have to spend the time traveling to meet coworkers. They can also work from home, which can be a great perk for employees who work from home.

You can set up a virtual private network (VPN) or bridge between their computers and the internet to make this happen. This can help protect your employees from malicious hackers and other internet threats.

Employee Engagement

By keeping all of their contact information, payment information, and other important company information in one place, your employees can easily access this information when they need it. 

They can also easily communicate without typing every character or manually sending an email. This way, your employees will be more likely to pitch in when needed, and you’ll keep track of who’s doing what without going back and forth between departments.

Centralized Document Management

You can create a single digital document that includes company policy, employee policies, and specific procedures for your entire business. This will make things much easier for your team when it comes time to update these documents. 

After your company issues new regulations or bylaws, you can simply bring them to your digital document and update it there. This will make it much easier for your team to follow these new rules.

You can also store old documents such as employee handbooks or policies in the cloud and access them when needed.

Improved Communication

With an intranet, businesses have a central place to communicate with all employees. This can be particularly helpful if a business has employees in different locations.

In addition, an intranet can help to streamline communication by providing a place for employees to share documents and information. Having an intranet can also help to create a sense of community within a small business. An intranet can help to foster a strong team spirit.

Boosted Productivity

An intranet gives employees a central place to access information and resources. This can save everyone time that would otherwise be wasted searching for files or tracking down answers to questions. It also makes it easier for employees to collaborate on projects, as they can share documents and ideas quickly and easily.

Cons

  • Lack of Control: Every department will connect to another department through an inter-departmental VPN. This means if one department goes down. 
  • Lack of Awareness – Another significant risk associated with an intranet is that none of your team knows what’s happening in other departments. There is no real cross-departmental communication happening on an intranet. This can be difficult for new hires to get used to. They may not fully understand the benefits of being able to connect with other departments through an inter-departmental VPN.
  • Lack of Diversity of Information – If you have an intranet and every department is operating out of the same virtual network, you’re essentially lacking in diversity of information. You won’t have access to various documents or information from other departments. This can make things difficult for managers who want to stay up-to-date on what is happening in their departments and keep their team members reasonably homogeneous.
  • Lack of Transparency – If a departmental dispute happens, you won’t be able to resolve it informally. You’ll have to bring it to an inter-departmental meeting and hope everyone feels generous enough to accommodate everyone else’s needs first.

What Exactly is an Intranet

An intranet is a private computer network that an organization uses. It typically uses the same technologies as the public Internet, but it is only accessible to organization members. Intranets can share information, collaborate on projects, and communicate with employees. 

Many organizations use intranet service providers to set up and manage their intranets. These providers offer a variety of features, including security, storage, and user management tools. Intranets can be a valuable asset for organizations, but they must be carefully managed to ensure they are secure and efficient.

The pros and cons of having an intranet can make or not make sense for your company. The decision is straightforward; you can either go with the pros or the cons and choose not to implement an intranet or implement it with some significant risk. 



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