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Intranet development in large organizations: a case study using EDI analysis tools Oram, John Wesley Isaac


Several years ago, the media discovered the Internet. This 'Internet explosion' exposed the non-initiated to a worldwide computer network. Forged by the fear of the nuclear fulfilment of the Cold War, this network had for over twenty years been the domain of academia, precocious computer firms, the government and the military. As the resulting technology continued to develop and thrive, the business community, attracted by the prospect of open systems and low costs, began to investigate the feasibility of applying Internet tools for internal information system and distribution needs. The concept of such 'intranets' has grown increasingly pervasive and persuasive, especially when their costs and development time are compared to equivalent proprietary systems. This paper examines some of the technological, economic and organizational considerations involved with intranet development. This author undertook a feasibility study in several departments of a large company in an attempt to identify the factors. A methodology originally developed for electronic data interchange (EDI) was used to help analyze the results. This analysis indicates the Company is ill-prepared to take advantage of intranet technology. However, the recent maturation of Java and the network computer paradigm (the former allowing applications to run on any platform without recompilation and the latter greatly reducing the administrative costs of bringing computing power to the desktop) may provide the Company with a relatively inexpensive method of leveraging the benefits of an intranet.

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