An enterprise information portal (EIP) or enterprise portal is a framework used to support and integrate processes, people and information across an organization. It gives a unified and secure gateway for information and a knowledge base for employees, partners, and customers. The enterprise portal provides the same services as a website, such as a search engine, email, customized and up-to-date content, and may also provide direct access to the internet or other portals.
Key Features of an Enterprise Portal:
- Integration– provides an integrated navigation gateway for multiple systems and components within an organization.
- Customization– provides an environment for users to customize.
- Access control and security -the ability to give the limitation needed for specific contents and services as needed. The EIP administrator can designate the access controls as needed for the organization.
- Single sign-on – capabilities for single sign-on can be given to users and other systems.
- Categorization and collaboration – can categorize all information and also provide users the ability to collaborate regardless of physical location.
- Personalization – based on the role and job function, the personalization is possible. The matching content for users is provided and matching services are used.
The Importance of an Enterprise Portal
- Universal Access to Enterprise Resources
Enterprise portals provide universal access to enterprise information and business knowledge resources to all parties. No matter where you are or who you are, if you want to access information on a particular organization you have unlimited access.
- Increased Return of Investment (ROI)
Another frequently mentioned benefit of EIPs is that they increase Return on Investment (ROI). The argument here is that packaged EIP applications should produce higher ROI than other IT applications for the following reasons. First, packaged applications are less expensive than customized systems. Second, packaged applications contain functionality specific to particular industry vertical markets. Third, packaged applications are easier to maintain. And fourth, they are faster to deploy.
- Increased Employee Productivity
The claim of increased efficiency is based on the idea that portals not only make available new information to users that were not available before but also provide that information in an integrated and personalized way. Integration and personalization focus information on the job role of the user, and therefore lead to improved job performance, and eventually to a more knowledgeable and effective organization.
- Decreased Cost of Information
The benefit of decreased cost of information is a consequence of both web-based publishing and the automated character of portals. For companies that still distribute information on paper, portals promise big savings. For companies already involved in web publishing, portals offer the possibility of saving on web administration personnel costs.
- Increased Collaboration
One of the most important benefits of EIPs may be increased collaboration within the enterprise. In effect, increased collaboration translates to more sustained common effort to accomplish corporate goals and to the greater social integration of corporate environments, especially across departmental and geographic barriers.