Magazine article The CPA Journal

The Internet and Intranet in the Workplace

Magazine article The CPA Journal

The Internet and Intranet in the Workplace

Article excerpt

Setting Internet Policies in the Workplace

The Internet! The World Wide Web (WWW)! Cyberspace! Intranets! Email! Hype or Helpful? Why should

an organization have a presence "out there?" Why use the Internet or the World Wide Web ("the Web") at the workplace? And what about an Intranet at your organization is it a fad or a must? Each organization must weigh these decisions, with their organizational missions and goals in the forefront. A cost versus benefit analysis is certainly an important consideration. Once the organization decides to take the plunge to cyberspace, the organization will quickly begin to reap the marketing, networking, and knowledge benefits.

The organization has made the leap to cyberspace, has obtained a provider, and has obtained all hardware and software requirements. The organization must now consider policy issues and take note that the basic business rules and modes of conduct apply also in cyberspace. The Web is "operated" by the Internet Architecture Board, staffed by volunteers who define and establish standards and monitor resources and information. There are very few operating procedures and rules on "The Net." No one person or entity "owns" the Internet and enforcement of standards and protocols is unclear and ill defined.

Presented is an action plan for the orga nization ready to enter cyberspace.

* Consider establishing a Web committee that will define and resolve the major issues and organizational exposures.

A) Obtain suggestions from personnel.

B) Network with other organizations with an Internet presence.

C) "Surf the Web" for information of what's out there and ideas.

D) Attend a seminar on how to create a Web presence.

E) Consider hiring a web consultant.

* Determine and define exactly what the Web will be used for (this will be an evolving process). Your organization may have one or several of these reasons. Once these decisions are made, set them into organizational policy.

A) marketing.

B) competitive presence.

C) research.

D) organizational bulletin board.

E) resources for customers/clients.

C) Clearly state whether personnel will have access to the Internet relay chat (IRC) or Usenet newsgroups. Explicitly state this in policy and monitor it.

D) Consider granting access to e-mail and the organization's web site only. Evolve from there, based on the member's job requirements.

* Determine who should be allowed to use company resources in accessing the Web.

A) Appraise by job function and work requirements on a nondiscriminatory basis.

and monitor for potential software piracy.

* Establish and prepare adequate training materials for personnel using the Web.

A) Consider hiring a consultant to conduct training sessions onsite. Consider sending employees to Internet training sessions.

B) Purchase books, magazines, and other materials that are good resources.

C) Assign personnel the tasks of scanning the Web and the library for additional information and resources on the Web. Since the Web is continually changing, there are always new topics and information.

* Educate personnel on the current and potential issues with Web use.

A) Confidentiality of organizational information.

B) Employer monitoring and employee accountability regarding adherence to organizational Web policy.

C) copyright laws.

D) indecency laws.

E) security and virus issues.

F) web protocol, etiquette.

G) consequences of noncompliance.

* Investigate and determine how management will measure and monitor the performance of the Web, and the accountability of Web users to the organization's policy.

Evaluation and Setting Policy for Intranets in the Workplace.

The Intranet, "intra" Latin for between and "net" in this case meaning an assemblage of information, is a private network primarily intended for organizational use only. …

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