Businesses looking to create an intranet can be put off by the perceived expense and complexity of installing and running one. The idea of having to buy a server, putting in the supporting cabling and physical infrastructure, and employing someone to look after said server are just some of the reasons a finance director is likely to veto such a plan. But there is another way – a cloud-based intranet or intranet as a service.
Cloud-based intranets are located on remote, highly secure and managed servers, which users can connect to with nothing more than an internet-enabled device and login details.
There are numerous advantages for moving away from an on-premise intranet to an intranet software solution hosted in the cloud.
Shell powers employee experience with a cloud intranet
Shell, one of the largest companies in the world, has served as an oil and gas “supermajor” since its founding in 1907 and has become one of the most recognizable brands on the planet. Watch Shell’s video case study to discover how their Unily intranet transformed the employee experience for over 82k staff worldwide and drove savings of over $42m a year in productivity gains.
A cloud-based intranet requires little, if any, capital expenditure, as most of the infrastructure is off-site and maintained by a third party. Also, as third parties often run several servers, both physical and virtual, from the same location, the economy of scale means that the running of them would be cheaper, a saving that can be passed on to the customer. These costs are usually split into a set-up or installation fee followed by an ongoing commitment, both of which can be classed as operating expenditure.
Having a cloud-based intranet allows a business to easily upscale and downsize, without the rigmarole and expense of having to change IT infrastructure or having to waste valuable server space. A business just has to simply give notice that it requires more or less capacity and a provider should be more than happy to oblige.
Any intranet as a service worth it's salt will use the latest security features, such as firewalls and encryption. For added protection look for those providers that offer single-tenanted architecture, where there is only one account per server.
Security is also improved for cloud-based intranets with those providers that offer updates and patches for key software. The latest versions of apps for instance are likely to be more resilient to cyber-attacks than older ones.
If something goes wrong on an on-premise intranet, there might be IT staff with the expertise to resolve an issue. But if not, an expert might need to be called in at great expense and delay. With an intranet as a service, technical staff will be monitoring the health of a server and could potentially stop an issue before an end-user even becomes aware of one. In the event that an issue affects the end-user, there will be service level agreements in place to ensure it is rectified rapidly.
5 Ways As-A-Service is changing the way the enterprise approaches intranets
With a traditional 'box of software' or custom intranet solution comes the problem of obsolescence. The old way is rigid, inflexible, expensive and time consuming - so what's the alternative for modern enterprises?