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Improve Collaboration with an Intranet Content Management System

Jul 12, 2008
If you are like most business owners, you are constantly searching for simple solutions for your business needs. One of the most challenging aspects of managing any workforce - and particularly a large workforce - is the effective sharing of information.

For businesses that have just a few employees, information sharing is not a difficult issue to overcome. Notes, e-mails and office meetings can keep everyone up to date. But how do you handle large amounts of information being shared between hundreds or thousands of employees? How do you make sure that everyone can participate in the discussion when there are separate offices in several countries?

The answer for many companies is a content management system. A CMS allows multiple users to create, view and edit content. The practical applications for this type of program are virtually endless. With a good CMS, it's possible to write a book with another person who lives on the other side of the planet. You can collaborate on a project with a night-owl project manager even if you prefer to work in the early morning.

It may seem that a CMS would cause as many problems as it solves. What would happen if every user was given unrestricted access to make changes? What if those changes were immediately published as the new version? This would inevitably lead to problems controlling the quality of the information.

However, a good CMS has safeguards in place. The details of the safeguards are up to the individual administrators of each system, but most administrators choose to set up a review process. In this review process, any changes must be approved by a designated editor or series of editors before the new version of the content is published. Authorization to delete files can be restricted as well.

The Application of Content Management Systems in a Business Setting

The CMS technology is obviously a boon to anyone who needs to collaborate on a project. But its application in a business setting is beneficial to the point of being essential.

Many businesses are utilizing an intranet CMS to store information and collaborate on projects. An intranet is a private computer network that is accessible only by authorized users within a company. When a CMS is used in conjunction with the intranet, an intranet CMS is born.

The intranet CMS differs from a standard CMS in one small but significant way. The intranet CMS can be accessed only by authorized people within the company. This affords a greater measure of privacy and information security.

An intranet CMS allows employees from every location to collaborate on a project. They don't have to communicate in real time in order to effectively complete the project. Employees who have never met in person or even spoken on the phone can become effective partners on a project through the intranet CMS. Their work is stored, updated and displayed to other team members with very little effort on their part.

An intranet CMS is also an effective way to encourage brainstorming. Numerous employees from every branch of the business discussing ideas freely can pay off in a big way. The employees get to share their expertise and their fresh ideas. You get the benefit of utilizing their ideas and suggestions.

You don't have to have a project in mind to use an intranet CMS. The company's collective knowledge can be stored on the intranet CMS. It is accessible to all authorized individuals and can make a difficult research assignment much easier. Instead of making multiple phone calls, sending emails or even conducting vital research again, an individual can simply access the information on the intranet CMS. If a piece of information is needed for a meeting, it's readily accessible without a lot of extra leg work.

The best part of using an intranet CMS is that there are no special technical skills required. Even employees with very little knowledge of how the system works can effectively use it. A designated administrator does the required setup and assigns roles and duties to employees. After that, very little technical knowledge is needed to actually use the system on a daily basis.

Advances in technology and computer capabilities have allowed businesses to evolve quickly. We can now conduct business with people from nearly anywhere on the planet. We can collaborate and communicate with astonishing speed. Using an intranet CMS is one of the best ways to utilize this power and speed to make the technology work for you.
About the Author
Chris Coleman is a Business Analyst at Capita Technologies. Capita Technologies provides CMS services for a wide variety of clients.
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