A private network that is used by a company to securely share information and computing resources among employees. Often, it includes tools for collaboration and virtual meetings. It may also include a repository of important documents and a database of user names and passwords.
It’s like the Internet, but a corporate intranet is private and only accessible by people who are given the correct network password. An intranet can be expanded with a “tunnel,” which connects the private network to the outside world. The tunnel is protected by a firewall, which tracks all data packets to ensure that they are not carrying malware or other dangerous code.
Traditionally, the best intranet software applications were developed in-house by IT professionals. More recently, however, there has been a move to use off-the-shelf social media applications, which provide the same functions as an intranet but with a more personalized experience. These apps are often called employee experience applications and can be integrated with a variety of enterprise applications.
A typical intranet has a web server that hosts the network’s content, which is accessed via browsers or other application programs. It uses Internet networking protocols such as TCP/IP and HTTP to communicate with other computers on the intranet. It also has a connection to the outside Internet through one or more gateway servers that use TCP/IP and other internet protocols.
Intranets make it easy to find documents, forms and other resources in a single location. They also encourage communication and collaboration by making it easier to share work files. They can also support productivity by providing tools for managing to-do lists, project management and other tasks.
Some of the more popular features in an intranet include employee directories, news and organization charts. They can also facilitate communication by encouraging employees to post content and status alerts. The more modern versions of these applications are designed to be engaging, with a smart homepage that users can customize and an emphasis on user experience. Some can even integrate with a video conference platform so that co-workers can talk face to face instead of communicating through text.