The 3-factor to Consider when you Compare Custom-built Intranet with Readymade Intranet
Businesses all over the world understand that it is essential to grow to retain market share and expand. This means working across multiple geographical areas and employing more people; and more documents that need to be shared within and outside the enterprise.
It is not uncommon to see business managers struggling with document storage and retrieval; and more importantly sharing it among people in the enterprise. Herein comes intranet solutions. It is an integral part of doing business nowadays. It is not just for big enterprises – it is for the small and medium too.
Intranet solutions make it possible to store documents and retrieve them instantly at multiple locations. In short, it is a way to cut cost, save time and improve employee productivity by making documents accessible seamlessly. Intranet solutions come in multiple hue and colours and broadly they are classified as custom-built intranet or readymade intranet.
Your choice of intranet solution will be widely guided by your enterprise’s size and the budget. Here is a comparison between the two.
The Price Factor
Custom-built Intranet: The name says it all – made just for you. When you order something that will only fit your enterprise, the price is bound to be high. Right from coding to implementation everything must be tailormade. Then, there is testing, validating, documenting, creating manuals, training users and finally deploying it. Unless you are managing a mega enterprise, the cost will be a turn off. It is simply only for enterprises that have tons of money with exclusive needs.
Readymade Intranet: It is something you buy off the shelf and if necessary, you configure it. Readymade intranet is less expensive when it is compared with a custom intranet solution. Most often a readymade intranet solution is offered as a package and you know how much it will cost you to deploy. Less expensive doesn’t mean it has fewer features; sometimes they come with features that outstrip a comparable custom intranet. This is possible because, the cost of development is spread across multiple users.
The Time Factor
Custom-built Intranet: Custom intranets can take a lot of time to deploy. First, you conceptualise, analyse, develop, test, troubleshoot, train and then deploy. It is all about time. Every day of delay can potentially cost you a small fortune and at the end of the day you have either a quality product or you don’t. There are simply too many uncertainties. Even a minor change in requirement means dizzying time delay. In short, you don’t even see or feel the product until it has gone live.
Readymade Intranet: Everything here is transparent and you can even see a live demo before you order the product. There is virtually no delay because you buy it off shelf, hire someone to install it and configure and you take off with a bang. The advantage of a readymade intranet is that they don’t come with unpleasant surprises. Training often comes with the package and it takes just couple days to get accustomed to it. The down side is they may include features your enterprise doesn’t really need.
The Support Factor
Custom-built Intranet: If you thought that custom built intranets offer you that extra sense of support from the producer, then you are badly mistaken. Contractors normally will never give products lifetime support; more often it is bound by a contract that clearly demarcates their support features. There are seldom any forums where you can look for support either. It is the producer or none.
Readymade Intranet: Readymade intranets are made to last a longer lifecycle and most producers give product support in the form of upgrades. It is nearly automatic – and most often it is upgraded by just a few keystrokes online itself. Most readymade intranet solutions come with phone and online support round the clock, so it means practically no down time.
The choice between a custom-built intranet and readymade intranet is all about taking a calculated risk – if you are a small enterprise and want quick deployment, lower cost and better support, then readymade intranet is for you.