Intranets Contribute Greatly to Companies

An intranet expert at one of the world’s leading computer makers says
companies that embrace intranets not only enjoy the benefits of better
organization and a better informed work force, but also stand to see
significant cost savings.

Speaking Friday at Internet World
Canada ’99
, Fred Isbell, intranet marketing manager for Compaq Computer Corp. said a successful
intranet implementation will bring increased productivity, improve the
flow of information and improve collaboration between an organization’s
different units.

“Intranets give you the ability to leverage the Internet for internal
publishing. Being able to use the browser as the interface also means
you can do it at a lower cost,” he said.

Isbell said intranets are fast becoming the main method of information
deployment across organizations both large and small. One of the reasons
are estimates that show companies can recoup intranet investments in as
little as 1.5 months. Although research studies have produced varying
returns on investment, even the most conservative estimates put returns
at between 35 and 40 percent. By 2001, International Data Corp.
estimates there will be 133 million intranet users worldwide.

Currently, the top three uses for intranets are information sharing,
information publishing and e-mail. Document management is also a growing
area, particularly in organizations that have employees worldwide or
diverse units that often need to share information, he said.

“Intranets give you the advantage of rapid deployment and being able to
morph and change applications very quickly,” he said.

Isbell said there is an ongoing shift that has seen organizations move
from first-generations intranets, which were largely experimental
efforts, to intranets that play a key role in a business’ strategic
goals. He likens a successful intranet to a window into an
organization’s database.

“There needs to be a shift towards a framework so people can find the
information they need. The intranet is that window,” he said.

Isbell also encourages companies to examine ways intranets can save
money. One success story, he said, was Compaq’s intranet-based
procurement system that has reduced the purchasing cycle from eight to
three days. It has also cut the cost of processing purchase orders from
$144 with paper to $15 on the Web.

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