Talkspirit

Intranet: Definition and Features

intranet : Definition, evolution and main features
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If you work in a large company, you are probably familiar with the term intranet. It must be said that since the 90s, the intranet has become an important part of organizations. Of course, it has been modernized along the way by following trends and technological innovations. 

Today, according to the latest study by the Intranet and Digital working Observatory published in 2019, 78% of intranet devices have collaborative functions. 

1) Definition

The intranet of the beginnings

An intranet is a local network specific to an organization (company, university, institution,…) allowing employees to access internal information and to communicate with each other. It works like a website: it requires a web server and associated protocols. It should not be confused with the extranet, which is rather intended for external use (network made available to customers, suppliers, partners …).

Initially, the intranet is only accessible from workstations connected to the local network. To connect users must use a login and a password. In its early days, it was used for internal communication, with a simplified interface often consisting of a single page gathering a lot of information.

Over the years, this internal network has evolved by integrating more and more features, but also by offering more ergonomic and user-friendly interfaces.

The intranet today

In its 25 years of existence, the intranet has been transformed, enriched and modernized. It has gradually incorporated technologies (chat, videoconferencing, news feeds…) until it has become a real workspace. 

Today, companies use the “cloud” intranet, which erases server limits by allowing authorized people to connect from anywhere.

Today’s intranet often has a search engine, a calendar, a mobile application and a whole set of tools that allow users to be efficient even when they are on the go.

2) Features

An intranet makes it possible to provide employees with the documents and information necessary for the smooth running of the company, while reducing the risk of data leaks to the outside world. It allows both to centralize certain information and to provide permanent access to it. 

As mentioned above, it is increasingly common – and this is a natural extension of the initial uses – to see collaborative work functionalities integrated into intranet networks. 

Main features:

  • Provision of internal documents (procedures, forms…)
  • Sharing of important internal news (replacing the internal newsletter)
  • Internal surveys
  • Directory of employees or trombinoscope
  • Organizational chart
  • Knowledge bases
  • Agenda (gathering important internal events)
  • Search engine to easily find documents and files

Secondary features:

  • Email
  • Chat
  • Videoconference/Audioconference
  • Project Management
  • HR Area (to apply for leave, submit expense reports, etc.)

With the evolution of digital uses, the intranet has undergone major changes and today brings many services to organizations and their employees. With the rise of the digital workplace, it will once again have to redefine its role and contribution to the business community. Many software publishers have already redefined their positioning, including Talkspirit! 

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Discover the 14 best intranet solutions.

You want to take the plunge but don’t know where to start or how to go about it? Contact us: the Talkspirit team will be happy to advise you and (if necessary) guide you in your project. You can also sign up for a demo session to discover the platform in detail:

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Authors: David Everaert, Benoît Renoul


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