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2000 Year of the Intranet, Says IDC

The use of corporate intranets has risen exponentially since 1998, according to several new studies from International Data Corp. (IDC). IDC's Global IT Survey shows that while only 4 percent of employees worldwide had access to intranets in 1998, by the end of 2000 that number will increase to 64 percent.

IDC defines an intranet as a "self-contained, internal network linking multiple users by means of Internet technology, which enables users with Web browsers and Internet clients to access information and applications hosted on servers."

IDC (www.idc.com) believes that the driving force behind the meteoric rise in intranet use is the concurrent rise of PCs that are connected to the Internet. In 1998, 28 percent of U.S. PCs were connected, and by the end of 2000 that number looks to jump to 76 percent. Worldwide, 29 percent of PCs were wired in 1998 with 61 percent expected to be online by the end of 2000.

The report noted that intranets were more prevalent in large companies, those with 500 employees or more, than in small or medium sized firms. While 51 percent of large companies reported intranet use, only 6.1 percent of small and 32.6 percent of medium sized companies used them, according to IDC's The Intranet Opportunity. Firms with over 10,000 employees, however, accounted for less than a quarter of all spending for intranets, according to IDC Intranet Fact Book: First Half 1999.

IDC also notes that intranets are increasingly being used for purposes other than information sharing and publishing. The top four applications of intranets were information sharing, information publishing, e-mail, and document management, tied with electronic forms, according to The Intranet Opportunity. These applications are expected to extend to the extranets of the future. -- Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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