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Intranet, extranet use on the rise

The use of the Internet by businesses continues to expand as "Net"-based applications hit the market, according to an independent report.

The use of the Internet by businesses continues to expand as "Net"-based applications hit the market, making it possible to develop corporate intranets and extranets, according to an independent report released today.

Conducted by consulting firm RHI Consulting , the study found 66 percent of chief information officers say they either have an intranet in place or plan to develop one over the next three years. Of those respondents, 23 percent said their company already has an intranet up and running, while 43 percent said they plan to install one.

The survey includes responses from 1,400 CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with more than 100 employees.

In addition, a majority of those surveyed, 82 percent, also expect the popularity of extranets to increase in the coming years.

When asked, "How will the popularity of extranets change in the next three years?," 38 percent of respondents said use of extranets will "increase significantly," while 44 percent said they would "increase somewhat." Only 1 percent of respondents said use would "decrease significantly."

"The Internet has evolved from communications network used primarily in academia and the public sector to an invaluable tool for businesses of all sizes to reach both broad and highly targeted audiences," Greg Scileppi, executive director of RHI Consulting, said in a statement.

Extranets, internet-based networks restricted to select audiences such as clients and vendors, are also gaining in popularity and represent the next wave of Internet-based technology to make its way into the business world, he added.