Guide

Benefits of intranets and extranets

How to set up a company intranet?

Any business, regardless of its size, can benefit from creating a simple company intranet to store important information and documents - see the benefits of intranets.

How to build an intranet from scratch?

There are many important questions to consider when creating an intranet, such as deciding:

  • what size should it be
  • what functionality should it have
  • how much will it cost
  • who will be using the intranet – eg all staff or specific teams or departments
  • what will you use it for – eg file storage, collaborative working, bulletin board, etc
  • what type of documents or databases will it feature
  • what content will it hold and who will create, publish and manage it

Look at your requirements carefully to make sure your investment is worthwhile. It might help to speak to your staff and see which features they would find most useful in an intranet.

Options for hosting intranets

Once you define the functionality you want, look at the technical aspects of developing an intranet. Think about things like:

  • how will it look and what templates will need to be devised
  • what content management system will you use
  • what other applications it needs to support
  • what security precautions need to be in place
  • how much bandwidth you will need

The biggest consideration will be whether to create and host your intranet in-house or externally, for example in the cloud. Consider the pros and cons of internal or external intranet hosting.

How much does it cost to build an intranet?

There are a number of costs you will need to take into account when setting up and running your intranet. These include:

  • server costs
  • server administrator services, especially if contracted
  • intranet development and design
  • intranet software costs
  • application development
  • content management systems
  • security hardware and software
  • staff training
  • ongoing maintenance

Once you know your budget, functionality and technical requirements, you should define your specifications and approach potential suppliers. Find out how to choose an IT supplier for your business.