Because a network administrator's sphere of influence will vary from company to company, you might find that your company's Web site is either managed by a Webmaster or taken care of by a company that provides Web design and Web hosting. This doesn't mean you can't use Web technology to enhance your internal network, however. Any TCP/IP network can take advantage of Web technology and other Internet-based services. Using Internet technologies on a private network means you are building an intranet . You can have Web sites on an intranet just like you find on the Web, but they are private.
Web sites in an intranet setting can actually be used for a number of different purposes. You can build Web sites that allow users to easily access data on a database running on an application server. Because just about everyone knows how to use a Web browser, the need for training users to use the front end for the database server is almost nonexistent. Web sites can also be used for exchanging files between users, and Web sites designed for specific company projects can be used for discussions between the various participants in a project.
A number of large companies have also found that intranet Web sites can be used to promote company morale . For example, "water cooler " Web sites are provided for employees to post information such as employee birthdays or to invite employees to special celebrations. Providing this type of site can actually cut down on the amount of email used by employees for personal communication with other employees .
Intranets also provide an excellent platform for you to test Web server hardware and your Web site itself. Opening up a Web system to employees on the intranet as a test can allow you to diagnose problems and access overall performance before you actually roll the Web site out onto the WWW.