How an intranet system works

When thinking about how an intranet works it is worth looking at the three main components that make up the system: the hardware; the platform; and the applications.

The hardware

Hardware refers to the server on which all the intranet software and data is contained. There are three different ‘hardware’ options that businesses can choose when looking to create an intranet. 

The first is an on-premise solution, where the intranet is entirely hosted on a server at the business’ own site. On-premise intranet solutions are generally managed, updated, backed up and so on by on site staff. However, due to the complexity of maintenance, all but the largest businesses, or those not constrained by industry standards, are moving away from this model. 

Instead they are opting for a cloud-based intranet or a combination of the two, known as hybrid. Whatever the hardware option, users generally connect accessing a portal and entering their credentials (user name and password for instance), which as intranets use the same protocols as the Internet could be from any connected device.

The platform

An intranet platform is the piece, or collection, of software from which everything else in an intranet hangs and interacts. The best platforms bring together communications tools, collaboration apps and data bases to work seamlessly with each other, tailored to a business’ specific needs.

For instance, Unily’s platform enables clients to create unique intranets that exactly meet their requirements through unrestricted configuration and customization.

The applications

For an intranet to be of any use, it must have the right intranet applications for users to work most effectively. These are the computing tools that employees use to do their work, communicate and collaborate with each other and store and retrieve information.

Getting all of these elements to work together is only half the story of creating an effective intranet. For the intranet to truly work for a business, employees need to buy into it, which is only possible if it is relevant, reliable and easy to use.

10 essentials for intranet employees love guide pages


10 essentials for creating an intranet employees love

We've created a guide to bring you our top tips for creating an intranet your employees will want to keep coming back to. With real-life insights from top brands from around the world, download the guide today to inspire your own intranet strategy.

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