To foster better collaboration, improve internal communications and enhance the employee experience, many organisations rely on a company or business intranet. A business intranet is a private computing network, with secure access restricted to employees of the organisation and designated stakeholders.
Types of business intranet
Business intranet software solutions fall into two broad categories:
- The on-premise or self-hosted intranet
- The Software as a Service (SaaS) -based or cloud-hosted intranet
With a self-hosted intranet platform, companies purchase, install and maintain the hardware and networking infrastructure required to support the collaboration tools, internal communications channels, security controls and other features of the intranet platform. Companies must also pay an upfront fee to purchase an intranet software license and (typically) annual renewal fees for the intranet support and maintenance packages, thereafter.
Companies choosing a SaaS-based or cloud hosted intranet solution must enter into a contract with a cloud-based intranet software and infrastructure provider. The company will typically pay a monthly subscription fee which covers all costs, including server specifications, storage space, installation, maintenance, technical support and the intranet software itself. Access to a cloud intranet occurs via the internet, making the solution ideal for enterprises with a hybrid or remote workforce.
Traditionally, self-hosted intranet software and services were limited in scope, often consisting only of a document manager, news channels, staff profiles and a policy manager if you were lucky. However, over the years, intranet software and platform architecture has evolved, blurring much of the distinction between an on premises and cloud hosted intranet solution.
Modern intranet software enables the creation of a digital workplace loaded with apps to facilitate employee communication and collaboration and increase employee engagement. These include collaboration and communication platforms, productivity apps, plus integrations with third-party systems from providers like Google or Microsoft, e-forms and workflows, eLearning and project management.
Whether cloud based or on premises, the objective of hosted intranet solutions is to put organisations on a path towards continuous improvement.
Reasons to choose a self-hosted intranet solution
While cloud hosted intranet software and intranet platform delivery can offer significant cost savings, free upgrades and a reduced management burden for businesses that choose this path, some enterprises may have compelling reasons to choose an on-premises intranet solution. They include:
1. Greater security and infrastructure control
For businesses that host their own intranet software and intranet platform infrastructure, internal IT teams can assume full responsibility for server maintenance, backups and security updates. They can proactively add extra security via company firewalls. For companies in some highly regulated industries, this may be a mandatory requirement.
They may also have to adhere to strict compliance regulations governing their handling of customer data and security protocols surrounding collaboration and communication channels. Here too, the direct control and oversight that businesses have over a self-hosted intranet solution allows the organisation to remain compliant, without sacrificing productivity or the employee experience.
2. Customisation of intranet software for specific business needs
Especially for businesses that use open source or custom-built intranet software, there is greater scope to customise the applications and services on a self-hosted intranet platform. The organisation’s own IT team can fine-tune and alter intranet collaboration and communication tools to better suit the needs of individual business units and users. With an effective internal communications system in place, organisations can make these modifications on the basis of user feedback and employee sentiment.
The net result can be an enhanced employee experience, greater productivity and the deployment of business tools and services that are more closely aligned to the needs of your workforce.
3. Integration with external business tools and resources
The modern intranet software powering a self-hosted intranet platform often integrates with common business tools and platforms from household names like Google and Microsoft. For example, organisations that have chosen to host their intranet on a Windows server can benefit from ease of integration with other Microsoft services, such as Active Directory.
4. No recurring subscription costs
Businesses that host their own intranet software and platform will typically purchase the software license as a one-off fee. Therefore — except for the yearly support and maintenance package — there are no recurring subscription costs.
Choosing the right intranet solution for you
Whichever intranet hosting option you go for, you’ll need the services of an experienced and reliable intranet technology provider.
Claromentis is an intranet solution with a difference. All our apps are easy to access from your integrated digital workspace, making it a one-stop-shop for sharing information, collaboration and internal communications. Our customers range from the largest global brands such as Virgin Care and Golden State Warriors, to ambitious and driven small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as charities, financial organisations and educational institutions.
We provide two intranet platform hosting options to suit your company’s infrastructure. If the security, data governance, or business requirements of your organisation call for a self-hosted intranet solution, you can pay a one-off fee for our on-premise intranet solution and deploy it on your own internal servers. Alternatively, your company may choose from our cloud hosted intranet solutions, which include our intranet software, installation, Google hosting, backups and more in one monthly subscription.
Try Claromentis now or book a demo with our experts.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the issues concerning self-hosted and cloud hosted intranet solutions, we’ve published an eBook on this topic: