How Businesses use the Internet, Intranets, and Extranets.
How Businesses use the Internet, Intranets, and Extranets
Business uses of the Internet
Given its capabilities and widespread use, the Internet is a powerful business tool.
Companies can communicate efficiently and cost-effectively with employees and potential customers worldwide.
As the figure below shows, businesses use the Internet to:
Sell their products and services online
Generate brand or name awareness
Reach new audiences with product information
Improve customer service and support
Reduce printing costs
Automate internal processes
Conduct surveys and market studies online
The intranet is a secure, private network that operates within the confines of a single organization, facilitating internal communication, data sharing, and operational coordination. Using internet protocols, it essentially functions as an organization's internal internet, restricted to employees and authorized users. As a robust and sophisticated system, an intranet provides a centralized platform to access resources, collaborate on projects, and share information, making it an indispensable tool for effective and efficient business operations. It enhances productivity, fosters team cohesion, and simplifies information management, while simultaneously safeguarding the organization's sensitive data from external threats.
An intranet is a private TCP/IP-based network of computers on an organization's secure local area network (LAN). An intranet typically contains confidential and sensitive company documents. Each intranet is custom-designed to meet an organization's needs. As such, only an organization's employees have access to it.
The employees access the intranet using the same Web browser they use to access the Internet (for example, Firefox or Microsoft's Internet Explorer).
An extranet is a private network that allows authorized third parties, such as suppliers, vendors, partners, or customers, to access certain information or operations of a company. Extranets are typically extensions of an organization's intranet, and they can be used to improve communication, collaboration, and efficiency between a company and its partners.
Here are some examples of how extranets can be used:
Customer relationship management (CRM): Extranets can be used to provide customers with access to information about their accounts, orders, and shipping status.
Supply chain management (SCM): Extranets can be used to streamline the process of ordering and delivering goods and services between a company and its suppliers.
Project management: Extranets can be used to share information and collaborate on projects with partners or customers.
Extranets can offer a number of benefits for businesses, including:
Improved communication: Extranets can help to improve communication between a company and its partners by providing a secure and convenient way to share information.
Increased collaboration: Extranets can help to increase collaboration between a company and its partners by providing a platform for working together on projects.
Enhanced efficiency: Extranets can help to enhance efficiency by streamlining processes and reducing the need for manual data entry.
If you are considering using an extranet, there are a few factors you should keep in mind:
Security: Extranets should be secure to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access.
Scalability: Extranets should be scalable to accommodate the needs of a growing business.
Cost: Extranets can be a cost-effective way to improve communication, collaboration, and efficiency.
An extranet is a special portion of an intranet to which only authorized users may send and receive information or conduct transactions.
Think of an extranet as an intranet that allows a company's clients to access it. Extranets can be completely outside a company's network or they can be attached through secure measures. The following series of images show examples of how businesses might use intranets and extranets.