In the early days of intranets, at around the turn of the 21st century, intranets were predominantly used in the same location as the server on which the platform was stored. The most efficient way to connect to them was to plug in a desktop or laptop computer to an Ethernet cable at a desk. Some companies did have a basic web page that employees could log on to via the Internet, but even then, they were limited to a cabled connection.
Fast-forward to today and the situation has completely changed. Intranet users are no longer tied down by wires or proximity to where the information is stored.
A number of factors have led to intranets being more accessible to users from wherever they happen to be. As more and more intranets are based in remote servers in the cloud, they can now be easily accessed by permitted users anywhere with an Internet connection. Super-fast speeds combined with being able to cope with larger bandwidths means that these connections can handle the continuing rise in sophistication of intranets. With fibre broadband now available to many residential areas, employees can potentially work from their own home office (or spare room!).
A killer combination of continually increasing computing power and wireless connectivity becoming faster and more widely available, makes smart phones and tablets a popular option for employees looking to log on to work systems.
The phenomenon of staff wanting to bring their own devices to work, known as BYOD (bring your own device), continues to grow with around two-thirds of workers using personal smartphones, tablets and laptops in the workplace. This means that businesses need responsive intranets that can be viewed on any device, while also ensuring the highest levels of security to prevent weaknesses in the company firewall.
Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G and soon, 5G, means that staff can log on to an intranet from their connected device while travelling between meetings. To make working on the intranet easier for those who could be distracted by other passengers, announcements or transport attendants, site navigation must be intuitive and tailored to the needs of the individual.
A quality intranet will be accessed by staff from any number of different locations with connectivity, which will help them be more connected with the business, colleagues and clients leading to increased productivity. Intranets are no longer restrained to internal use, but are now ‘wherever an employee happens to be’ use.
To find out how a Unily intranet can empower your workforce from wherever they want to log in, talk to our team today.