The Enterprise Internet
Extends Business

Behind the scenes of the Web-based consumer applications that fascinate the mass media, there's another groundswell of Internet use. Although the Net was designed for free and public access, smart companies now are using it as a model for restricted, non-public communications. Organizations conduct all manner of business, from daily in-house tasks to interaction with colleagues or customers around the world, via what we may call the enterprise Internet.

Many organizations have discovered that the issues holding up universal deployment of the Internet--for example, security and bandwidth limitations--don't apply when using the Net within the company or between trusted business partners.

Analysts predict that the greatest Net growth will occur in two areas of major importance to the enterprise Internet. This month UniForum's IT Solutions reports in practical terms what those trends mean.

Behind the Intranet Boom examines how organizations can leverage the strengths of the Internet (such as cost reduction, platform independence and a common user interface) inside the company. The intranet phenomenon is more than a buzzword; it just makes sense.

Business Does Business on the Internet looks at the emergence of semi-private "business internets" for purposes of electronic data interchange (EDI) and related communications--another instance of open systems replacing the proprietary.

And for direct testimony about these kinds of applications, see Member Views. So many readers sent in their intranet stories that we'll run them for two months.

Whether your company is already moving in these directions or only considering them, we hope that these articles will aid your decision-making.

--Jeffrey Bartlett