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What an Internet Can Do for a Company
Improve Collaboration and Team Work
To me this is probably one of the most lucrative areas that one can exploit as far as Intranet technology is concerned. Using the intranet it is possible for a very high level of collaboration to be achieved with out going to great expense. For example it is possible for members of a company or organisation to meet using quite simple confrencing/meeting software as simple as IRC (Internet Relay Chat) or more sophisticated  video conferencing software.  Even the bulletin boards we use here to read this message here on ZDU are powerful methods of bringing teams together regardless of there time zone or geographical location. There are obviously some complex issues to consider in how people will take advantage of this kind of technology and I always keep in mind what seems like great sense to me because I am mad keen on this technology, will not always be received by everyone in the organisation, so like any project it will need to be managed with the appropriate buy in from all stakeholders.
Improve Intellectual Property and Information Distribution
Well I loosely group information under the heading of Intellectual Property because after all whatever we do to adds value is inexplicably  tied into our information which in turn is  linked to our Intellectual Property.  If we are a software company then information about our products for our sales-force, guidelines to solve common re-occuring faults to help our support staff, competitor information are all important to help us stay ahead of our competion or in non-profit organisations remain efficient and effective. By having documents available to all in an easily fast cost effective manner on the company internet then not only does the IP exist to assist the staff to carry out their job, it ensures that they all have the most uptodate and accurate information.
Empower the Workforce
As well as supporting collaboration, the intranet will help to empower the employees at all levels of the organisation. To me it works both ways, I will give you an example, while the Director of Information Technology for a Regional Health Authority here in Sunny Queensland, I saw the power of simple e-mail, though people would be reluctant to send a memo or phone the regional director,   it was surprising to see that they were quite keen to send ideas comments and even the odd criticism from time to time.

By putting up bulletin boards people can express there thoughts, share innovative Ideas and get the credit and recognition for it, you can end up with a flatter organisation wether you planned it or not.  The CEO will be able to see some of the innovation around him without leaving his/her computer screen.

Improve efficiency and effectiveness ( save money if you wish)
Ok a lot of things can be implemented that have the potential to save money, but that depends on the overall cost of the project?   Savings on printing of documents alone have the potential for huge savings in some organisations. Cost of time and fares travelling to meetings cost of time waisted with telephone tag...

Making the information timely is obviously going to be more efficient also.Documents for example can be updated at their source.  Reports can be built live from their databases and published live.

Customer account activity can be available so that sales and support staff are aware of any interactions that are occuring.

24 hour internal support could be provided to staff, by going across time zones, for example it is 3 am here in brisbane as I compose this document, now the Brisbane office is sure to be closed but the NewYork office is bound to be open, they should be able to help me with my last minute software problem. I can possibly chat with them online, so not costing huge international phone call.  Well I am sure by the time I post this there will be some realy good examples of how Intranets save money..

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