Blog August 2023

Intranet Development: Custom-Built or Ready-to-Go?

In the modern digital era, organizations are faced with the decision of whether to develop a custom intranet or opt for a ready-to-go product. With advancements in technology and a variety of solutions available, this decision can be quite challenging. This article will delve into the pros and cons of each option.

Custom Intranet: Tailored to Your Needs

Organizations, like individuals, consider themselves unique. Each company has its peculiarities, especially at the micro-level of work activities. For instance, if we were to examine 100 companies, we would likely encounter at least 70 different approaches to processing travel orders. The first advantage of custom intranet development is the ability for an organization to precisely define its needs and requirements, allowing for a completely tailored intranet solution.

Another advantage is the flexibility of customizing the intranet based on changes in business operations, ensuring that the intranet remains relevant to the evolving needs of the organization. Of course, this requires having internal resources or external partners capable of implementing changes in line with the organization’s dynamics.

The third advantage is the option to choose the desired technology. This is particularly important from the perspective of managing the technological spectrum within the company with the help of internal experts or competent external partners. Digital solutions already available in the organization and worth better utilizing play a significant role in this choice. An example is SharePoint or Microsoft 365, for which most organizations already have purchased licenses but often do not fully utilize.

Ready-to-Go Intranet: Streamlined and Efficient

Uniqueness is not always an indicator of success. Sometimes, the uniqueness of average work processes in a company is reflected negatively as reduced efficiency, as activities are carried out beyond good practices and standards. Such discrepancies and deficiencies are easier to eliminate using standardized, tested, and future-ready solutions.

In the world of digital platforms for information, communication, and collaboration among colleagues, where intranets belong, renting pre-made product solutions has been a trend in recent years, bringing its own advantages.

The first advantage is that the organization can immediately start using the intranet, thus quickly connecting with employees. Planning, designing, and implementing a custom intranet can take from half a year to a year or more. With the rental of a ready-made solution, this time can be reduced to a few weeks.

The second advantage is that ready-made intranets are usually tested and reliable, reducing the risk of functionality issues. Behind such solutions are teams that take care of their further development and maintenance. With new versions come new features that companies can utilize for their needs.

The third advantage is that the price of a ready-to-Go intranet is usually lower than the cost of developing a custom intranet. It is also necessary to consider the costs of maintenance, hosting, and developing potential new functionalities.

The Decision: Custom or Ready-to-Go?

When organizations consider implementing an intranet, they face the decision of whether to build their own intranet or rent a ready-made one. While a custom intranet has some advantages, such as greater adaptability and customization to the specific needs of the organization, renting a ready-made intranet is often a more optimal choice.

Renting a ready-made intranet can be a better decision as it is immediately available and usually cheaper, saving the organization time and money. In addition, the company introduces good practices and standardizes processes, which can improve productivity and efficiency. Optimizing procedures that may have become unmanageable over the years can bring significant improvements to the organization’s operations.

However, it is crucial that the organization chooses an intranet that meets its needs and demands. It is important to examine the options and advantages of each choice and make a decision based on the specific needs and goals of the organization.

Conclusion

In the end, the choice between a custom intranet and a ready-to-go intranet depends on the unique needs and resources of your organization. Both options have their merits and can significantly enhance internal communication, collaboration, and productivity. The key is to thoroughly assess your organization’s requirements, budget, and technical capabilities before making a decision.

Žarko Višekruna
Žarko Višekruna
Head of Business Development
Žarko Višekruna is Head of Product at Digital Agora, where he designs and develops digital platforms for employee information, two-way communication and collaboration. His vision is to create digital work environments that enable colleagues to easily and conveniently access critical work-related information, help shape internal culture, and adopt new, more efficient ways of working. This will have a direct impact on the success of the company.
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