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IDC survey reveals intranets are becoming backbone of companies` IT infrastructures

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Intranets are increasingly becoming an integral component of an organization`s information technology infrastructure. A recent survey from International Data Corporation (IDC) on intranet uses and intended usage revealed companies` use of intranets is expanding to include more applications.

"The intranet is beginning a critical change in its evolution," said Mike Comiskey, an analyst with IDC`s Intranet Strategies research program. "User expectations have risen to a level that eclipses the notion of the intranet as a secondary information resource. Users will expect more from their intranets, especially as new technology allows better information management and business process integration."

The IDC survey revealed that the top four intranet uses remained the same as last year: information sharing, information publishing, email, and document management. However, the survey showed applications such as data conferencing that played less significant roles on intranets in the past play a more significant role this year and are being used more often.

Other findings from IDC`s survey included:

.         Most organizations surveyed rely on internal expertise when designing or implementing an intranet.

.         More than half the organizations surveyed had a corporate standard for Web browsers.

.         Microsoft`s Internet Information Server is the most widely used HTTP server among respondents.

.         Of the organizations surveyed that did a post-implementation analysis, most said their goals had been met or exceeded.

The survey also revealed the corporate mindset on information is changing. Companies are moving from a top-down hierarchical philosophy to a more open, horizontal, collaborating one.

"Whether or not the intranet is responsible for transforming the insular information-hoarding mentality that has established itself over many years in business, it is clear that intranets enable better information sharing," said Ian Campbell, vice president of IDC`s Collaborative Technologies group. "The instant access to real-time information that intranets enable provides a clear competitive advantage."

IDC`s report U.S. Intranet Usage and User Intentions, 1998-1999 (IDC #B19643) examines the U.S. intranet user. The report explores current and expected intranet use, intranet applications, and intranet spending. To view the report`s complete table of contents, please visit http://www.idc.com and search for 19643. For more information or to order the report, please contact Sue Beauregard at 1-800-343-4952 extension 4774 or sbeauregard@idc.com.

International Data Corporation

International Data Corporation delivers accurate, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and adoption and technology trends, and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in more than 40 countries worldwide. IDC`s customers comprise the world`s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information on IDC can be found on its Web site at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is represented exclusively in South Africa by BMI-TechKnowledge Group. BMI-T conducts local research to IDC`s international standards and is also the exclusive South African distributor of IDC research reports.

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