Summary: The difference between a buy intranet and a build intranet, with checklists to determine which one better suits your needs.
Should you buy or build your intranet? Every company purchasing an intranet faces this question. There are advantages and challenges to moving forward with either option. To move forward with a ‘buy intranet’ means choosing out-of-the-box functionality that you can quickly deploy. You can even delegate deployment to non-IT or technical related staff. To select a ‘build intranet’ means choosing to customize and architect an intranet that fits around your specific environment. This option requires consulting services and a elongated implementation period.
We explored this buy vs build topic on our blog approximately three years ago. Since then, the intranet software market has gotten more crowded and the buy and build messages from different intranet vendors have gotten more convoluted, making it more difficult for buyers to decipher the reality through the noise.
To ensure you are making the right buy intranet versus build intranet decision ask yourself the following set of questions:
If you answered “Yes” to the majority of these questions, you should consider a buy intranet, such as our low-risk, transparent and simple Source by IC Thrive intranet software solution. A buy intranet focuses on the a lower total cost of ownership, smart delegation for multiple site owners and out-of-the-box functionality that translates to a short installation and implementation period.
If you answered “No” to the majority of these questions, answer the following set:
If you answered “Yes” to all or the majority of the above questions you should consider a build intranet, which you can purchase from a variety of intranet vendors that requires customization and consulting services for full deployment of their intranet platform. Alternatively, if you have seasoned in-house technical resources experienced with intranets you may also be able to build an open source platform internally. A build intranet focuses on complete 100% customization, flexible functionality built over time and independence from an out-of-the-box, standard solution.
After working through those questions you should have a better idea of if a buy intranet or a build intranet are right for you. One other factor that your financial officer will consider when purchasing an intranet is the return on investment (ROI). In general, buy intranets have a much quicker ROI than build intranets given the lower initial cost of buy intranets.
However, SaaS pricing models have made build intranets a more affordable up front purchase. Although buyer beware, with a build intranet you are not just signing up for the predictable monthly charge, you will also need to pay for the customization, implementation, training and ongoing fees associated with build intranet platforms.
A quick example of how fast these SaaS costs can add up is purchasing a SharePoint 2013 Online plan in addition to your Office 365 plan at $7 per user per month. If you buy SharePoint 2013 Online as a build intranet option for a 1,000 user company you will pay $7,000 a month and $84,000 per year. Additionally, you will have to consider the extra fees associated with hiring SharePoint consultants to customize your SharePoint intranet. Or utilize the time and resources of an in-house SharePoint expert. Whether your financial officer is more likely to absorb a capital expenditure versus a monthly expenditure will be another buy intranet versus build intranet decision your company must consider.
Ultimately, your company will need to decide what factors prevail in a buy or build intranet. You are now one step closer to selecting the right intranet platform for your business needs today. Let us know how and why you have chosen to move forward with a buy intranet or a build intranet by commenting below.
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