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If you’re reading this article then the chances are that you have already taken the important decision to implement a company intranet. The business benefits to be achieved with intranets are now widely accepted and include:
- increased workforce productivity
- improved team integration and collaboration
- ease of communication
- less time spent on sourcing and updating organizational information.
Giving staff the business tools and information they need to get the job done in one easy to use platform will help to increase productivity and ultimately your bottom dollar.
Now you’ve got another important decision to make. What form of intranet solution is the right fit for your company? In this article we examine the advantages of cloud-based intranets so you can make an informed choice as to whether this solution is a good fit for your business.
Cloud-based intranets offer cost certainty. Most hosting companies offer unlimited users and data storage for a fixed monthly fee. And unlike company-hosted intranets, there are no servers or equipment to install or to maintain so you won’t need to factor into corporate budgets unexpected breakdowns or expensive repair costs. In fact, all the ongoing maintenance, upgrades and replacement costs are the responsibility of the hosting company rather than being a potential headache for you.
Furthermore, hosting companies generally provide IT support as part of the cloud intranet package so there is no need for an in-house team to support the installation and ongoing management of the intranet.
With a cloud-based solution, your intranet can be up and running in a matter of minutes. A simple step-by-step process with an easily customizable template makes for a quick and easy installation. Other intranet solutions will involve purchasing equipment and designing programs, meaning that it could be a long and drawn-out process. A stress-free deployment that doesn’t have to involve IT has to be an advantage to any business.
A further advantage of cloud solutions is that they are more responsive and can be easily refined as a result of changing business needs. This ability to make changes quickly means that a cloud intranet will always be in tune with your business’s unique needs.
No technical expertise is required
Once the intranet is setup and running, you will want to keep the ongoing management as easy as possible. Cloud intranets are easy to manage. Even non-technical staff members will be able to create and edit content, add users and set permission rights all with just a few clicks of the mouse. Your site will function smoothly and seamlessly.
Other software solutions, such as SharePoint, do not have the same functionality as cloud intranets and also require the user to have some technical knowledge to get the best out of them. If the typical user in your business is not particularly tech savvy or you have limited IT resources, then this may not be the best solution for you.
Furthermore, cloud-based intranets offer streamlined user management processes that enable you to add, delete or disable users in just a few easy steps. There’s no need for a memo to the IT department to set the user up on the system nor the interminable wait while IT gets round to it! Instead, you’ll be able to do it yourself.
Off-the-shelf packages such as SharePoint often have a convoluted process for user management making it much more time consuming and difficult to navigate. What tends to happen in this situation is that the intranet administrator keeps putting it off, often resulting in significant delay in users being deleted in particular, which could compromise the security of important corporate information.
Security and data confidentiality is assured
Ensuring that company information and data is safeguarded against hacking or interception as well as computer viruses is an important consideration for all businesses. The advantage of a cloud-based intranet is that these concerns are the responsibility of the hosting company. You will not have to worry about firewalls or securing your intranet servers. A hosted online intranet is subject to multiple layers of embedded security as well as a two-way SSL encrypted connection and has automatic backups, and automated updates.
With an intranet hosted on a company network, all ongoing security and encryption issues, as well as backups and updates, will be your responsibility entirely. This may be a feasible option for larger companies with dedicated IT resources, but for small to medium sized enterprises, this could be a daunting prospect.
A cloud intranet is often faster and more reliable than a network intranet: pages load more quickly, and there is high availability and uptime. Indeed, there’s nothing worse for a potential customer than to be told that their order cannot be processed because the network is down. The cost to your business of even an hour’s downtime could be considerable. A cloud intranet is more likely to stay up and running and will also be unaffected by a power outage or a weather emergency. So if your server is constantly crashing then the cloud option will be very appealing.
Additionally, cloud-based intranets also mean that staff will be able to access the company intranet 24/7 via a computer, tablet or smartphone with 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi access. The advantages to any business in terms of remote working and flexible arrangements are obvious. Ensuring that staff are able to access the business tools and information they require whilst working flexibly or remotely will ensure your business is adaptive and responsive, helping you to stay ahead of the competition.
Indeed, more and more companies are shifting their IT functions from a physical environment to the cloud. This is because cloud solutions offer greater convenience, cost certainty and more flexibility. If you want your business to stay ahead of the game then it’s worth considering a cloud-based intranet solution. Contact the team at MyHub for an informal, no-obligation consultation on whether cloud solutions are a good fit for your company.
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