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What is an Intranet and what is it used for?

Intranet on computer

An intranet is an organisation’s private network that allows its employees to communicate, store information and access resources. The chances are you have used or experienced an intranet- or something similar- at some point in your life.

The need for internal communications platforms has become increasingly important. With recent events such as COVID-19, the demands of globalisation and of companies growing larger than ever, a virtual communication tool is now essential for organisations.

The idea of an intranet is to engage employees in one single source of truth, where all of a company’s communications and resources can be found, in one easily accessible and secure place. Employees should be able to use this one site to access all of their work-related needs – messages to employees, calendars, documents, tasks, applications and more.

Why do organisations use intranets?

For some organisations the focus of their intranet might be a knowledge management hub, providing simple and effective access to all of the information employees need. A great intranet provides this content to users and is trusted as the source of the most up to date organisational guidance and data.

Other organisations look to an intranet to provide a community for employees, a place to engage, especially with hybrid working now often the norm. intranets can provide group spaces for both formal collaboration and relaxed conversations, and offer various communications tools such as blogging, messaging and commenting on posts and polls.

What features should an intranet include?

Infographic for What features should an intranet include? UX/UI, accessibility, Single sign on, security, management and analytics,, mobile access, service and customisable

Single Sign On

Single Sign On (SSO) means that users can access the intranet and all its resources without having to re-enter login details. Not only does this save time and increase efficiency, but adds security to the intranet by reducing the chance of human error.


The service that comes with your intranet can be just as important as the intranet itself. Your intranet provider should ensure a seamless onboarding, and be there to answer any questions, resolve any issues and help you to make the most of your intranet.


Intranets carry all of an organisation’s resources and data within one place, so it’s vital that the platform has strong security.

Mobile Access

With a growing demand for remote working, having a mobile app is a common feature of modern intranets. Mobile access can help keep your employees engaged no matter where they are, on a device they are familiar and comfortable with.


It is important that every one of your employees can make the most of their intranet no matter what. An intranet that is accessible for all increases the inclusivity, productivity and engagement within the work environment.  All features and configurations available in the product should always meet WCAG 2.1AA standards, and aim to implement AAA where possible. An inbuilt ‘Accessibility Checker’ will help your publishing team maintain accessibility with analysis of text/images/tables etc inputted into text fields against WCAG 2.1 AA standards.


Your intranet should look and feel exactly how you want it to. You know how you work best, so you can customise your intranet in a way that makes it tailored to you and your work style.

Management/ analytics

Having access to the analytics of your intranet can be a great way to monitor employee engagement and think of ways in which it can be improved. You should be able to see exactly how the intranet is being used in order to understand how to make your employees’ workspace as productive as possible.


The intranet should be easy and instinctive to use. There should be no confusion as to not slow you down at work, and everything should be exactly where you expect. The user interface should be consistent, clear and simple, reducing cognitive load for users.

How do you get all users to engage with an intranet?

Employees are faced with a great deal of noise throughout their day, competing calls for their attention and time. Your intranet should remove the stresses of multiple applications and resources, by offering one trusted source of truth.

The intranet should be the one location where answers to questions and solutions to problems are found and where employees know their own voices will be heard. In order for an intranet to be a success, it has to not only deliver a quality, accessible experience for all users but also ensure content is accurate, relevant and easily findable for staff as and when they need it.

What does an intranet look like?

Your intranet should be customisable so that its features are suited to you and your company. The great thing about Invotra’s intranet is that it works however you like. For example, you may want to change which colours are used, which applications can be accessed, which widgets are used and their position, who can view messages- essentially, you can tailor your intranet to your own personal needs. This allows an organisation’s employees to work in the most efficient way possible. Having a well customised intranet is like sitting at a tidy desk; no distractions, no mess, but everything you need at hand.

What is the difference between an intranet and an extranet?

An intranet offers all your employees secure access to your private network, to access the organisational knowledge they need. An extranet extends this platform by offering a simple and secure way to give partners, stakeholders, trusts, contractors and third parties restricted access to an organisation’s information
With an Invotra Portal, external users can access, read and even publish content depending on their permissions. They can also collaborate with internal colleagues in groups and via commenting, to engage directly with intranet content.

What are the benefits of a successful intranet to an organisation?

The intranet is about bringing people together. It gives all employees a voice, and promotes happiness in the workplace. When staff can express themselves and feel heard, they will feel like an important and valued member of the organisation, which in turn increases their motivation and productivity. With all resources and communications made clear and available, engagement and efficiency will be boosted, helping your organisation develop as a whole.

We'd love to show you how Invotra can transform the way your organisation works

Laptop and Mobile with intranet message wall and a profile page displayed

Discover what your Invotra intranet could look like with a free, branded video