Thesis Chapter 1 On The Benefits Of Intranets Within An Organization - Case Of Mosscare Housing LTD.
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This chapter shall discuss the problem that the study want to address as well as the circumstances related to the study. The researcher would also provide the hypothesis that shall be examined and tested in the course of this study. This portion of the research will also define the limitation and the aspects covered as well as the importance of the study to the current field of intranet technology. The researcher shall also provide definitions of the terms used in 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.
Statement of the Problem
The study intends to investigate the benefits of Intranets within an organization, particularly in Mosscare Housing LTD. Specifically, the study seeks to:
1. Describe the characteristics of the employees in terms of age and departmental affiliation.
2. Identify the challenges and opportunities institution face as a result of Intranet technology.
3. Assess the behavior and attitudes of the employees regarding the use of Intranet within the organizations.
4. Recognize the adaptation method of MC to Intranets.
5. Identify the factors affecting intranet usage.
The study intends to test the hypothesis:
“Has the proliferation of intranet had a positive or negative effect on working paradigms within business organization?”
Significance of the Study
The study would benefit several areas of the corporate system. First of all, the study would be able to benefit the Information Systems of corporations in general as well as with Mosscare. The research would be able to provide them the idea on the departmental distribution of the employees who use the technology. This would allow them to furnish additional data that would be valuable for the department who has the greatest number of employees clicking to the company’s intranet. This would allow the said department to modify a section for frequently asked questions (FAQs) to allow easier access for the employees.
In this light, the management of companies in general as well as with Mosscare would also benefit from this study. The results of this study would allow the employees to become more aware of the company mission and vision through the intranets. This way, the management would be able to easily keep the employees informed of company affairs and in the same time, continue to place their moral in a high level.
Likewise, the employees of Mosscare would also benefit from this study. This study would convey their concerns regarding the intranet network within their company. This would provide them additional aspects of the intranets that would be able to cater to their specific needs. Moreover this study would do well to the Intranet technology as a whole. This would provide the followers in the field of networking and other related technologies a concrete representation on the impact of intranets on an organization.
Scope and Limitations
The study would be limited to the analysis of the Intranet utilization of the company Mosscare Housing LTD. This would utilize a researcher made questionnaire that would be provided to the employees of the said company. The employees that would be given the said instrument would amount to twenty-five (25) respondents.
Definition of Terms
This is a program that allows the user to read and access information on the World Wide Web.
The conceptual or virtual area where pages, data, images, and all the rest fly back and forth from computer to computer, user to user.
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
These are questions and answers that occur regularly within a user group. FAQs are a timesaving feature for all kinds of users.
A protection of the internal company network against unauthorized access via the Internet.
FTP - File Transfer Protocol
It is a very common method of moving files between two Internet sites. FTP is a special way to log in to another Internet site for the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP by logging in using the account name anonymous. Thus, these sites are called anonymous FTP servers.
HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol
The way Web pages are transferred over the Internet or an Intranet. Icon A small picture or graphic used to represent a location in the inter- or Intranet (for example a flow-chart graphic to take the user to the departmental flow chart); an action (a mailbox as a place to send feedback); or a program (a W to indicate Microsoft Word).
Interconnected computer networks from around the world.
Interconnected computers and networks within an organization.
ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network
Basically, it is a way to move more data over existing regular phone lines. It can provide speeds of roughly 128,000 bits-per-second over regular phone lines.
LDAP - Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
LDAP is preferred for creating directories. LDAP provides a standard way for Internet clients, applications, and servers to access directory services using TCP/IP, regardless of the hardware/software platform.
Lots of computers connected together. Lots of networks all over the world are connected to make the Internet. Lots of networks connected within an organization such as a university or company make an Intranet.
Software used to find information on the Web. Examples are Lycos and Yahoo.
This is a computer with the capacity to provide connectivity (sharing) to multiple personal computers.
Going from page to page, link to link, via a browser. Surfing could have been called "clicking" for the mouse clicks that make the process possible, or "linking" from the program logic, which makes the process, occur.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.
URL - Uniform Resource Locator
It is the address of location for accessing Web pages. Clicking on an icon or "hot text" is the most common means of accessing and using a URL.
Web or Net
The World Wide Web (a server) consisting of a hypermedia system (linking sounds, text, pictures, video) which your computer (a client) can access.
The supervisor ensuring that the system is up and running; the coordinator of access; the relay for communications between users and hosts to sites.