Is the term “intranet” really outdated?

The other day I got an email from TechWatch that listed the best articles of 2009. One of the articles I hadn’t seen before was called “12 words you can never say in the office.” Thinking it might be a funny read (I’m always up for a laugh), I decided to give it a quick glance. Turns out the article described outdated tech terms you should never use in the office because they will make you seem old. Most of the words on the list made sense and I wasn’t surprised to see them listed. However, the very first one on the list? Intranet!

Needless to say, I was shocked. Apparently the author has revised the article since the original posting back in August 2009 due to reader comments, so I don’t know the original content of that particular section. The author does refer to “portal” as the new replacement term.

Is this true? Is “intranet” outdated? Have I been living under a rock? In my experience, intranet and portal are still current and are basically interchangeable, both meaning a gateway to specific internal resources from one basic entry point. I’d love to get some comments from everyone else out there – are you still calling your intranet an “intranet?”


  1. Yep, we’re still old school. The intranet is still the intranet.

    • Carol

      We have changed the name to portal. People looked at our current intranet as pretty static and were not interested in updating it. A portal however is something new and different and worth looking into.

  2. Lynn Fogle

    We do refer to our internal site as a portal but I find myself having to explain to a lot of people that I mean the intranet.

  3. I feel that “intranet” is a much more enduring term than the alternatives that are being bandied about these days: collaboration software, social business software, enterprise 2.0 software, workgroup software, enterprise social software, etc. “Intranet” is a term that’s been around at least 15 years, and in most organizations of size, it has a consistent meaning: the internal home page & associated apps.

    When we launched our ThoughtFarmer software 4 years ago, we called it a wiki for a while. Soon, though, we realized that we shouldn’t associate it with the latest tech fad, but we should market it as something that’s still going to be around in a decade: intranet software.

  4. As the man who founded the Intranet Benchmarking Forum back in 2002 you might expect me to defend the term “intranet” but actually what we talk about is the intranet morphing and transforming into the wider world which we call the “Digital Workplace” inc synchronous meeting tools, apps like Yammer and social media inside and outside…..intranets are really just a set of services and apps within the world of work and so at IBF we are covering intranets PLUS the wider Digital Workplace.

  • kiiac
  • Purchase Creating a Successful Law Firm Intranet

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