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Is Ready-to-Go Intranet the Right Solution for My Organization?
The popularity of ready-to-go intranet products has been skyrocketing recently. Organizations of all sizes have come to recognize the natural advantages of a ready-to-go solution, one with less stress and more flexibility, for their business. Before piggybacking onto the latest intranet trend, however, it's important that your company understands what ready-to-go intranet is (and isn't) and what it can offer your organization.
What is Ready-to-Go Intranet?
A ready-to-go intranet, also known as "intranet as a service," is a preconfigured intranet solution that can be deployed rapidly within an organization. It's designed to allow users to accomplish most of the tasks that they need right out of the box by anticipating specific use cases. Support, maintenance and updates are the responsibility of the intranet provider, lightening the burden on your company.
Is Ready-to-Go Intranet Right for Me?
Although it's not a panacea, ready-to-go intranet can be a huge gain for the right company. If you find yourself nodding along with most of the following criteria, you owe it to yourself and your company to investigate further.
Your Resources are Limited
If you have a small (or nonexistent) team devoted to supporting and maintaining your intranet solution, a ready-to-go intranet may be preferable. Organizations with a small team often lack the time and bandwidth necessary for the lengthy process of custom intranet design, which involves repeatedly gathering facts, interviewing potential users and conducting workshops. What's more, if your users are unsatisfied with what you've created, you'll have to go through the process all over again.
Your Company is Dynamic
These days, many organizations have adopted a dynamic, agile business model that requires you to pivot on a dime. If the structure of your company is likely to change over time, with the responsibility for intranet upkeep moving from one place to another, then using a ready-to-go intranet will let you outsource some of that complexity.
You're Concerned about Costs
Along with the lack of time or personnel already mentioned above, your organization might be running a tight fiscal ship. You may be operating on a tight budget, unwilling or unable to sink a lot of capital into your intranet upfront. Using an intranet-as-a-service solution will mitigate that risk, allowing you to get up and running for less money.
You Can Deal with Change
Depending on your philosophical outlook on change, ready-to-go intranet might be the right choice. Traditional intranet models focus on a big project at the outset that will check all the boxes and resolve all your intranet issues in one fell swoop. Ready-to-go intranets, on the other hand, get you started with a basic, flexible product that will improve incrementally as users determine what features and use cases are most important to them.
You Don't Want to Upgrade All the Time
With the traditional intranet model, you usually build and launch your platform, then focus on maintaining it until a few years later when you upgrade to the latest intranet trend, and repeat ad nauseam. With a ready-to-go solution, your intranet will continue to evolve over time, without a predetermined timescale for upgrading.
You're Not Willing to Commit
If you choose to go with a traditional intranet provider like Microsoft, you need to carefully examine the company's road map for the next several years. Just like in a marriage, you've committed yourself to anticipating and reacting to the technological changes that will occur with your intranet provider. Using a ready-to-go solution removes that responsibility if you're not ready to settle down yet.
The intranet-as-a-service model is a more outsourced one, where you give up a truly customized product for quicker results and fewer worries about support and maintenance. In the end, this is simply the latest trend in the constantly changing intranet world. Before making any hasty decisions, you should think carefully about what kind of business you truly are, and whether your intranet solution needs to evolve to keep up with the times.