Internal or External for your intranet

Have you decided yet what’s the Best Choice for Intranet Hosting for your company?

Our years of experience in web hosting, have help us to know that intranets can be a challenge.

And wait, before we discuss hosting intranets any further, its very important for us to define “intranet” in layman’s terms, because even this old term INTRANET seems to have morphed into numerous definitions over the period.

Firstly let’s know ‘What is an Intranet’?

Traditionally, it’s a network that is only accessible to users/employees within an organization.

An intranet can also be defined as a private and restricted internal Web-based site.

In many cases, they are often hosted internally, within the company’s private network since intranet traffic is limited only to an organizations users, but again this is not always the case.

Many times Intranets are hosted externally also especially in companies that don’t have the required IT staff or infrastructure to run them.

There are many companies who want intranet but neither has nor wants the overhead cost that comes from hosting it internally.

Lets know the pros and cons of both to help you decide which hosting is suitable for your organization

Benefits of External Hosting

Your decision on whether to host internally or externally could be impacted from a number of factors.

For example, hosting externally could be a good option in these cases:

Companies which don’t have their own intranet infrastructure set up and need to find a quick support system with all of the security and network infrastructures in place.

Smaller operating firms that lack a experienced IT staff, backup space, internal bandwidth, etc..

External intranet hosting allows developers and content owners to focus solely on design of the intranet and its content to Companies which want to focus on software and content.

External intranet hosting is probably the best option for those who don’t have enough money to invest in new hardware and software for hosting their intranet in-house.

Issues with External Hosting

If there are many advantages to external intranet hosting, there are also many additional concerns which need to be considered.

Security issues:

Sensitive information and secure content regarding the companies internal operations, will be exposed to the hosting providers.

Regardless to say when intranets are housed internally, content is only exposed to, and handled by, employees of the company.

However, a professional hosting provider dealing with corporate clients always takes extra effort in dealing with the necessary security mechanisms—firewall, data encryption, user authentication to ensure that content is safe.

Finding a suitable host company:

With many available options, it may take a considerable amount of time searching around and interviewing to find a host suitable for your intranet at the price fine with you.

Technology support:

Your hosting provider may not always support some, or all, of your selected technologies and or platforms.

Technical and user support:

The turnaround time for problem resolution may not be up to your expectations and/or requirements since you’re at the mercy of a third-party technical support staff.

Costs: You’ll need to be aware of the costs involved for initial set-up, technical support, and any additional costs

Let’s look at Other aspects to consider while choosing between Internal or External Hosting

Technology considerations

Determining the hosting needs of an intranet when discussing an intranet project.

An externally hosted intranet make sense for a smaller company without a dedicated IT staff

Hosting the intranet outside of the company’s network is probably the best choice if the intranet is limited to publishing and posting of information and not as a working tool for daily tasks .

Remember an externally hosted intranet will be easier, less complicated, and comparatively less expensive.

The use of third party software could be another technology issue to consider. Certain intranet tasks, like time keeping, real-time HR forms, accounting processes, are usually best left to third party software.

Software integration

Software integration is a necessary part of intranet development but a technically challenging task.

The project is likely going to involve some additional time where software integration is needed or required, and a third party software development consultant will need to be involved into the project.

Software integration means getting data from one piece of software to interact with information in another piece of software. This can be hard to do.

Remember clarifying expectations about software integration is most important in the early stages of planning an intranet.

Inter-Company Politics

Getting an entire company to agree to “buy in” to the intranet is critically important decision. For example, finance , HR and technology departments tend to have disagreements with each other. Because an intranet project will involve many departments and the relational tensions need to be handled delicately.

Utilizing our expertise

Intranets can improve morale and communication, increase efficiency, build a corporate culture, provide an effective distribution of company information. Hence an intranet can be an exciting project to work on.

Thus Kindly note, there is no single solution will work for every organization or business. Hence before Choosing between internal hosting and external hosting for an intranet think about the needs, resources, and desires of the particular company.

At Creative Social Intranet, we have experience developing intranets for different variety of clients, as well as we provide external intranet hosting.

Do you need help in determining the best solution for your company’s intranet?