The Teagasc intranet site and it's potential as a communications tool for the organisation

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McHugh, Eamonn
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Business Information Management
Dublin Business School
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Teagasc is the national research and development organisation supporting the agriculture and food industries. The business objectives of Teagasc are to provide a quality research, advisory and education service to farmers and to families living on farms, to raise the competitiveness of agriculture and the food industry and to ensure the continued viability of the maximum number of farmers in rural communities. To successfully fulfil these business objectives, information and knowledge are Teagasc's key tools of trade. This thesis contends that the intranet has significant application potential for the organisation. Significant time and effort, albeit on an ad hoc basis to date, has gone into developing the intranet as a tool by which frontline advisers and teachers can have access to the latest research results, current regulations concerning income support schemes and software essential for carrying out their functions. The site has the potential to be used as a much wider source of information for the total staff of the organisation. Information on the terms and conditions of employment is one area that is relevant to all staff. The intranet could be enhanced by the addition of this information by the Human Resource Department and also by making available an up-to-date staff directory on the intranet. The fact that a Human Resource Manual is not readily available elsewhere makes this a more urgent issue for an organisation as large and as dispersed as Teagasc. The potential savings in time and money of being able to find and access the required information, on time, every time is significant. User analysis to date has shown a large increase in the volume of traffic to the site. Teagasc needs to invest sufficient resources to ensure the success and adoption of the intranet as the communications tool of the organisation by building up the contents of the site to an all encompassing organisational intranet site. In addition, a process of monitoring and feedback should be established. The intranet should now become part of an overall IT and communications strategy for the organisation. While Teagasc has made considerable progress in putting in place a modem IT infrastructure in the organisation there is some evidence that this is not as well co-ordinated as it could be. The weak link may be the absence of a senior national IT person with the capacity and authority to provide the leadership necessary for the successful planning and implementation of the organisations IT requirements. With intranet technology, the vision of putting relevant knowledge at the fingertips of every employee and accessing it on the desktop has become reality. Workers can truly be "empowered" through timely access to the information they need to do their work - whenever and wherever they need it.