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Why join as intranet user?

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Why join as intranet user?

An intranet can help your career in academe, research, and development to use information more effectively to create a more flexible and efficient organization.
What can you do with intranet?

An intranet lets its users communicate with each other, share information and resources and even share software programmes. It is, in effect, a scaled down version of the internet: it has a restricted group of users - the staff in your organisation - and contains only the content that you choose to make available.

Intranets have enjoyed a steady growth in popularity because they are both relatively simple and relatively inexpensive (compared to dedicated Local Area Networks or LANs) to set up.

All you need to get your intranet started are:

- a few computers cabled together;
- an internet browser on each machine; and
- a computer designated as the server, which holds the operating software and system information.

As they use web browser technology, intranets are platform independent, i.e. using any machine such as Mac, PC and other types, users can happily access and share information securely on the same network.

It may seem tempting to get your intranet up and running as quickly as possible, but time spent considering its projected usage will pay dividends both in terms of the functionality you finally achieve and the amount you end up spending.

What are the benefits from intranet?

Intranets can benefit all kinds of organizations - from institutions with only a handful of employees to large international enterprises.

The specific advantages will depend on the type of solution you choose to implement, but the primary benefits generally include:

* Reduced costs - thanks to decreased printing and paper requirements, improved communication, shared software and more efficient utilisation of staff time arising from quicker access to information.
* Improved productivity - through access to a single central repository of data, reducing duplication and improving accuracy when dealing with customers and suppliers.
* Increased security - due to information sharing and e-mail traffic over an internal private network, rather than the public channel of the internet.
* Better customer service - thanks to quicker more accurate access to customer account details and product and services information.
* Scalability - because of the flexible nature of intranets it s easy to add additional users and increased capacity, at a relatively modest cost.

As your organisation grows more comfortable with its intranet you can also expect to enjoy:

* More cost-effective IT spend - by developing your existing, flexible infrastructure rather than replacing it.
*Increased competitiveness - thanks to better information access, improved customer service, knowledge sharing and being quicker to market.
* Streamlined administration - with many standard tasks such as expense reports, timesheets and calendar sharing becoming largely self-administered.
* Virtual networking - as the staff in your office, on the road and at home can all access and update the same core data.
* Easier training of new employees - intranets are well suited to carrying induction programmes.
* Calendar and diary sharing - your intranet can carry individual diaries, schedules for workgroups and bookable resources such as meeting rooms for efficient working.
* Extranet-ready - open up your intranet so that it becomes an extranet, allowing intellectuals access to some or all of the information you hold. Not all of your intranet information needs to be on your extranet - you can control access to academically sensitive information by passwords.