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09/01/2011

Sample Thesis Background of the Study


 

Background of the Study

 

 

Confusing Intranet with Internet is natural -- the technology, like the spelling, is nearly identical. Both require the same network protocol (TCP/IP) and both use email and World Wide Web standards. (Christensen, 1996) The Intranet is essentially a private Internet operating on your company's internal network. Intranets exploit the incredibly popular and low-cost Internet tools to gain strategic advantage over competitors, cut costs, and improve operational effectiveness. An Intranet typically has three features lacking on the Internet, speed, security, and control. The said technology has a broader bandwidth than the latter. Likewise, the system is more secured since it has a private internal network (LAN/WAN), protected from Internet users by a firewall. In addition, it could also be more manageable compared to the Internet since the enterprise network management to ensure reliability.

Furthermore, the Intranet can be viewed as an information utility for the enterprise. (Christiansen, 1996) It doesn't matter whether one uses a Mac, Windows or a UNIX workstation – it is plugged in to the Intranet and find what you need, from documents to email to data to audio and video. Corporate and department information is accessed via the standards of the Internet: e-mail, WWW, file transfer, and other Internet services. The information utility concept has broad appeal. It enables everyone to be a 'knowledge worker' by providing real-time information access to all published documents and data in the corporation. The rapid and near-universal adoption of Internet standards is producing an avalanche of new products and refurbished, web-enabled applications from all major applications vendors.

Physically, an Intranet is formed by linking the various pieces of information and communications technologies that an organization owns or uses; interconnected in such a fashion that all the resources of the organization are readily available to anyone who needs them, wherever and whenever they are needed. (Gareiss, 1996) These resources that are linked together are not merely the physical devices such as computers or fax machines. The data that is stored in or accessed through the physical devices are resources too; as are the software applications that can operate on and manipulate those data resources.

 

An Intranet encourages the members of the organization to make better and more informed decisions. (Gareiss, 1996) An Intranet encourages and supports more effective use of people by people and should support faster and more efficient decision making processes. To repeat the point: An Intranet weaves together three essential components; tangible resources such as computers, intangible resources in the form of data and, most important of all, the experience and knowledge of people within the organization.

 

Moreover, an Intranet achieves its purposes by providing a small number of common but very generalized software tools of great power and flexibility, rather than a large range of discrete specialized power tools that cannot work effectively with each other. Intranets are therefore mechanisms for harmonization and integration. (Gareiss, 1996) The key issues here are experience and knowledge. A well designed Intranet should make it possible for an organization to gain better access to its primary resource: the knowledge and experience of the individuals who work within it. A well-designed Intranet should be an enabling technology. A well designed and properly implemented Intranet is a creative and empowering tool for the entire organization that permits any individual to bring the entire resources of the organization to bear on any specific task they undertake and to bring their own resources and expertise to bear upon the general purposes of the organization with greater effect.

The study would be assessing the intranet system of Mosscare Housing LTD (MC). It was chosen as the case study for the project due to its easy accessibility of information and largely traditional structure. There are several definitions of Intranet, but they all generally refer to network activities where protocol replaces physical items such as paper and pen. Mosscare Housing LTD is a not-for-profit organization, and is responsible for over 2,500 properties and sheltered accommodation schemes in the Greater Manchester area. It provides accommodation services for the community by developing new properties, renovating existing ones, and managing the tenancies.

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