During the initial phase of the intranet planning process for an organization, the options of external intranet hosting and in-house web server should be given requisite considerations. An intranet system generally stores on a web server (a computer that provides access to authorized users all over). It provides access using any one of the following methods.
In case of in-house servers, the location is based upon an internal computer and it is then linked with the local area network of an organization. Hosted web server’s store externally using a second party host and can be accessed by internet link. There are clear sets of advantages and disadvantages in both the cases and an organization needs to do sufficient amount of research before settling for any of the alternative. However, here are some key benefits of either of the methods.
In-house storage advantages
This is presently the most popular method of delivering intranet results with effective controls and security options. It is of much assurance that all the confidential data is within the boundaries of the organization and there are almost impossible chances of misuse and leak. On external hosts, security options are available by the use of firewalls by VPN and SSL software to send encrypted data to specific addresses. However, this does come with some additional cost and this could be forgone if all the data is stored internally.
An in-house system might also seem effective when we consider the cost of installation and operation. The prices for server and storage hardware has reduced to a great extent in the present years and thus making in-house storage more affordable. Server requirements being simplified, no such expensive replacement is required from time to time. Having your own facility also lets the organization avoid tying long term contacts with service providers.
The most important advantage of having an in-house storage system is not relying on internet connection to access the database. While internet speeds are much slower, they are also prone to network problems, bugs and hacking. External hosting come with bandwidth costs but internal transfers don’t cost as such.
Hosted intranet advantages
Hosting companies have gained ground with the variety of services they are offering in the current competitive climate. This includes low introductory costs, and sometimes even negligible start-up offers. This can be attractive for smaller businesses with limited funds. This option will also appeal to organizations thatdon’t have a strong enough IT department and very little hardware and software experience without the need for extra purchases. Hosted intranet also takes away the responsibility of having a support system which is an attractive prospect for organizations that want to spend the minimum amount of time in dealing with hosting issues.
To summarize, there are pros and cons to each of the options. Thus great care must be taken while choosing a specific service. The default method needs to be internal which is cost effective when long term options are considered. However smaller companies with little knowledge may take hosted intranet options as a viable option.