As more organisations transition to hybrid office and remote working models, companies now have an acute need to integrate their business applications and internal communications resources, so as to provide relevant information and services to employees who may be widely dispersed, and/or working to flexible timetables. A key way to achieve this seamless integration of company data, business applications, and employee engagement services is through the all in one platform of a company or business intranet.
What is a business intranet?
An intranet is a private network that provides authorised users with access to company data, relevant information, business applications, and internal communication tools and channels. There are two main types of business or company intranet.
An on premise intranet is a digital workplace environment created and hosted by a company, using dedicated intranet hardware, networking infrastructure, and intranet software that the business purchases, installs, and maintains using its own IT talent.
Cloud based intranet is a form of cloud deployment in which a company enters a contract with a cloud based intranet solution provider. This is a business organisation whose role is to provide the cloud based intranet software, tools and services needed to create the all in one platform and digital workplace of a cloud intranet environment.
Among the objectives of both on premise intranet and a cloud intranet solution are the promotion of employee engagement and the enhancement of the employee experience through the seamless integration of existing business applications, external tools, internal communications channels, and other intranet services that promote high employee usage and meet the objectives and business needs of the company.
To these ends, a typical on premise intranet platform or cloud based intranet solution will incorporate apps and resources like employee engagement tools, business applications software, learning management software and project management tools, as well as integrations with third-party systems, e-forms and workflows.
The choice of intranet hosting option will depend on the business needs, budget, skills availability and other factors of a particular company. However, companies at the small business end of the enterprise scale tend to benefit more from cloud based intranet solutions. There are several reasons for this, including:
1. Cost savings with cloud intranet
As we have seen, companies that opt for an on premise intranet must make a capital investment for the purchase and installation of intranet hardware and network infrastructure, plus a one-off payment for their intranet software license. Yearly support and maintenance charges and the salaries of the internal IT staff who must oversee, repair, and maintain the intranet itself are also expenses that companies with on premise or self-hosted intranet must budget for.
With a cloud based intranet, companies need only worry about paying a one-time set-up fee and an agreed monthly charge to their cloud intranet provider. This subscription fee is typically based on the number of employees using the cloud based system, the volume of intranet traffic, or the network bandwidth needed. For smaller companies with less to spend on expensive IT installations, this arrangement generally proves more cost effective for the business.
2. Reduced IT and management burden
The subscription fee that companies pay to a cloud based intranet provider also factors in business intranet requirements such as server specifications, installation of cloud based intranet software, storage space, technical maintenance, and support. These responsibilities fall to the cloud intranet provider, eliminating the need for companies to employ and dedicate staff to maintaining and managing their cloud intranet solution.
For startups and smaller business organisations that may have limited technical expertise and IT resources, this makes cloud based intranet a worthwhile investment.
3. Security and business continuity assurances
The days when “cloud deployment” was synonymous with “cybersecurity threat” are no longer with us. Modern cloud based intranet software and cloud intranet solution providers host their digital workplace platforms on remote servers that are well protected, and use the latest security measures.
The best cloud based intranet providers will also have measures in place to ensure automated and secure data backups, with redundant storage and failover mechanisms for internal communications systems. As organisations transition to a digital workplace and cater for remote working, such Business Continuity measures help small business companies to keep their cloud based systems active at all times.
4. Round-the-Clock access from anywhere
Remote working practices are seeing more organisations transition to cloud based intranet, as the technology harnesses the power of internet connectivity. So with cloud based intranet, smaller scale companies can be sure that their company data and employee experience platform is available to all employees with an active connection to the internet. This applies to desktop computers, portable devices, and mobile apps.
5. The ability to scale
The goal of any small business is to become prosperous and grow larger. The inherent scalability and flexibility of cloud intranet enables smaller companies to easily accommodate growth and change. With cloud based intranet, small businesses can easily change system configurations and feature sets as they hire more employees, expand into new markets, or diversify their operations.
Here at Claromentis, we provide cloud-based intranet and on premise intranet solutions for companies and institutions of all sizes. As an intranet software provider, our customers range from the largest global brands such as Virgin Care and Golden State Warriors, to ambitious and driven SMEs, as well as charities, financial organisations, and educational institutions.
We provide two hosting options to suit your company intranet requirements. Larger or more resource-rich business organisations can choose to pay a one-off fee for our intranet solution and deploy it on their own internal servers. If you’re a smaller company looking for a cloud based intranet solution, our cloud intranet option includes our intranet software, installation, Google hosting, backups, and more in one monthly subscription.
To learn more about how Claromentis cloud based intranet solutions can benefit your small business, book a demo with our experts.