2 Use of the guide Aim Use of the Guide This presentation is prepared to support and give a general overview of the ‘How to Set Up an Intranet’ Guide and should be read in conjunction with the publication.Use of the GuideThis guide will guide you on the implementation of an Intranet by:giving a detailed definition of an Intranet then explaining the potential benefits of implementing an Intranet .including a case study to highlight important aspects of an Intranet, illustrating some key benefits, and the lessons learnt through the process.offering seven steps that you can employ in implementing an Intranet.providing the basic roles played in an Intranet projectcovering some of the security issues that you need to be aware of.providing a checklist to guide you through the process of setting up the Intranet.providing help on deciding which course of action to employ in setting up your Intranet.
3 A Tool For Better Business An Intranet is a network designed for information processing within a company or organisation.Its uses include such services as document distribution, software distribution, access to databases, and training.Some of the advantages of an Intranet include:Better management/access to informationInformation sharingKnowledge captureCost effective to transform in-house trainingSecuring sensitive informationPotential extension towards an ExtranetDespite the advantages there are still concerns such as:Management concerns of the fear of losing controlSecurityProductivity
4 Intranet in 7 StepsAt the highest level, there are seven key design characteristics:
5 1. Establish strategy plans Strategy plans play a part in the implementation of Intranets.As business and information strategies become aligned, organisations can answer questions such as:Is IT adequately supporting our major activities?Can we reduce the cost of core processes, or can we produce a higher quality service?Can IT help us ‘tie in’ to clients on a long- term basis?Is IT improving staff satisfaction and motivation?Can new services and products be created?Can IT help us gain new markets and improve market penetration?How can the organisation’s information and knowledge be managed as a resource?What new technologies are on the horizon and how can they be used in the future to address changing business needs?
6 2. Select design teamIdeally the company will employ a Web design team consisting of:a Web master, database developer(s)IT consultant (if no in-house IT Department)Web designer(s), and Web developer(s)These will produce an Intranet specification report and Web strategy.Size of the Web team will be dependent on the size of the project.Web team will be involved from the beginning and meet with the company, and depending on the size of the company/project, their Web committee, to discuss design and development on an ongoing basis.
7 3. Develop scopeUltimately your corporate Intranet will be everything to everyone.It will bring new levels of productivity to the enterprise, and link your employees, vendors and customers in a quality embrace.There are two important considerations for those who wish to embark on building an Intranet that revolve around the principle of Think big, Start small:It is better to have something that works and has measurable benefits now than a good design that is never implemented.Think about the long-term, even in the smallest of projects - there is the possibility it will be reused as a component in a larger system, and eventually be executed as part of system available outside the corporation.
8 4. Develop scepticallyBe agnostic and assume that no single vision will prevail in its entirety.Where you can choose technologies or standards that span visions, invest in them otherwise tread lightly.Choosing technologies now for critical component building may be a speculative investment, but it is a wise one.Stay close to standards and beware of enhancements, plug-ins, and other deviations from the safe path.Choosing a vanilla implementation may not give the same satisfaction as choosing a more exotic flavour but it is and always will be the smart choice.
9 5. Implement the solution Produce a proposal detailing Web team skills and requirements, Intranet structure, design and functionality, IT issues, costing, timescales and any milestones.Most of the information should be able to be achieved from the previous few steps.Fee proposal, Scope of works and Project delivery should include:ObjectivesContent functionality (Index and Designs)MethodologyTechnical considerations (IT issues, Plug-ins/applications required)Web Team (Skills and Requirements)Cost Estimate and Illustrative project programmeSpeed of development (Development & Testing)Project Delivery
10 6. Testing and validating After deploying the Intranet prior to launching it, the Intranet system should be tested.Normally test case/scenarios are written as a series of individual modules that should be subjected to separate and detailed tests.The Intranet system is then tested as a complete system by brining the separate modules together.The system needs to be tested to ensure that:interfaces between modules work (integration testing)the system works on the intended platform and with the expected volume of data (volume testing)the system does what the user requires (acceptance/beta testing).
11 7. Measure everything and obtain feedback Usability evaluations are not just for your public sites - remember that your employees are users too!Important factors in evaluating Intranet sites, even after it has been implemented for some time, are:Determining user profiles and demographics. Who are your users?Defining user tasks by user groups. What do users do?Establishing usability criteria. How do you measure user productivity and satisfaction? What are your productivity criteria?Testing both the guidelines and the Intranet sites.Evaluating the success of your project involves many metrics, some hard to obtain but worth exploring.Ultimately, the success of your Intranet will be judged on the degree to which it helps the company achieve its business objectives.
12 Basic roles in an Intranet Project Intranet creation should start with a Web development team representing a cross-section of business and IT managers.Firstly, team must craft an Intranet strategy:a clear collection of business goals and a sense of how the Intranet will help achieve them.From the start, Web team must consider - and periodically reconsider - a variety of management questions associated with:ApplicationsOrganisation and managementStaffingPrevention of information chaosPublishingNetwork infrastructureSecurityStrategies should include the best possible information architecture and design
13 SecuritySecurity is a means to protect information no matter where it resides or travels on the Intranet.Some of the elements that go into security are the following:IntegrityReliabilityAvailabilitySecuritySecurity is critical within a private corporate network - internal users commit over 80% of all computer related fraud.Security strategies should be based on the existing functional needs and risks of the organisation.Three regular activities should take place in order to keep the company’s security current:Threat identificationActive penetration testingExternal Audits
14 ChecklistBefore developing the Intranet, the following questions will guide you through the process of setting up the Intranet:Who are my audience?Do I understand the company and its structure?What do the staff require from this system and will this assist their daily role?What do the company or organisation want from the staff to get from the system?Should all staff have access to all areas or will there be an executive section for Directors, CEO, etc?What type of Information will be shared?Does the system require a back-end administration area where staff may add their own information and how will this grow in the future to add new sections?Who will have access to the administration area and how do I protect this?Which database should I use?
15 ChecklistHave I considered advertising the Intranet to staff through , posters to inform staff of the Intranet and to get their input?Who will the central contact be for feedback on the Intranet?Does the company have an integral IT department?Do you have a search facility?Does the company/organisation use the same browser throughout the company?Do I have any WAN, LAN issues?How many users do we have accessing the system and how will the network and server cope with the traffic?What is the budget for this site in terms of the server, database, etc? Have I made a budget proposal?If my budget is turned down, I must plan for future technology integration.Set a strategy, such as online forms; they should be simple forms, which require the SMTP host to be enabled on the server.
16 How to Do It?Setting up an Intranet may require little additional investment if you have a typical small-business LAN.The following issues may help you to decide which course of action you would like to employ:Do it yourselfIf you can run an office network, there will be no technical barrier to stop you setting up your own intranet.It is easy to produce simple information pages. Modern web page software is no more difficult to use than Microsoft Word.The obvious costs will be at the beginning – for hardware, software, employee time and consultancy work. You may need consultants for some programming tasks such as creating a live feed from your customer database.The continuing costs may be less obvious such as time spent updating pages which may be significant but will not usually be charged directly to the Intranet project.
17 How to Do It? Packaged Solution Paying an Agency The ‘solution in the box’ usually has a Windows or Unix server, Intranet and mail server software, a router, firewall and virus protection.This is an all-in turnkey solution, so it is quick and easy to use.Making it work and keeping it running are someone else’s problem.Performance and faults can be checked and sometimes rectified remotely.A packaged solution usually gives both Intranet and Internet facilities, including external and internal .leasing the package requires no capital investment.Templates applications mean you can set up staff directories or training exercises with no technical knowledge.Paying an AgencyChoose methodically; insist on seeing examples of previous Intranet work for a company of your size.You will need to brief very carefully, so that your business objectives stay to the fore.Get quotes and set limits on cost and time.You may want to bring in an agency to create a style and image and set the ball rolling but take over future updating and development yourself.
18 ConclusionThe Web is changing the ways businesses distribute information.Making key corporate information available to everybody's desktop pays dividends.Intranets are often implemented based on existing PC and network infrastructures, leading to modest start-up costs and relatively low risks of introduction.Internet demands new definitions and frameworks for thinking about business.The classic value chain, is being replaced by a dynamic, far-reaching "value web" in the "virtual marketspace".McKinsey & Company, says that today's technology changes the ways in which companies "enhance the value of the organisation, helping people transcend the boundaries of time and space."