On-premise vs secure cloud intranet: which solution is better for your organization?

By Paul Marcotte
April 27, 2020
3 min read
The difference between on-premise and cloud intranet

IC’s intranet was only available as an on-premise software solution for many years. This meant customers provided their own physical or virtual server and installed the intranet on the server within their own network.  

Server maintenance, security, patches, and Windows updates were the responsibility of each organization’s IT department. For organizations with a robust IT infrastructure, this was an easily managed requirement.  

Being in the intranet game for over 20 years, our offerings and capacity have grown with the digitized world. Just think about how technology has changed the world over the last two decades. Twenty years ago phones were only able to voice call and text, look where we are today! 

Over the years the demands for server memory and central processing unit (CPU) power increased. For virtualized servers, this was less of an issue, but for hardware on-premise servers, upgrading and maintenance could be time-consuming and costly.  

Feedback from some of our customers and prospects highlighted the need for an alternative to an on-premise intranet. For many organizations, the role of the traditional IT department has also changed. It has morphed into a position that creates change and innovation across the organization often with an “internet of things” mindset focused on software instead of hardware.  

This is why we embarked on a project to provide a hosted secure cloud intranet alternative to our traditional on-premise intranet.  

So, what’s best – an on-premise or cloud-based intranet? Well, that depends…  

Which is best for your company’s needs? 

There are three main factors that influence the choice between on-premise and secure cloud intranet: 

  • Number of users 
  • Budget (immediate and long term) 
  • IT infrastructure and personnel 

The IC’s pricing model is designed to equate the total cost of ownership for both on-premise and secure cloud over 2 years across all user bands. In year one, the up-front cost for on-premise is higher. By year two it is equal to a secure cloud. By the time we reach year 5, there’s a significant saving achieved over the secure cloud.  

If an organization has the IT infrastructure and personnel available to support an on-premise intranet, then clearly the most cost-effective long-term option is on-premise. An added benefit of on-premise is that organizational growth does not affect the ongoing maintenance price which is 20% of the original purchase price. 

But this is only viable if you have a robust IT team on hand to control and manage the project. While budget, resources, and users are significant factors in the decision-making process, don’t forget the convenience factor. IC’s secure cloud is simply more convenient and easier to implement than the on-premise option. 

The bottom line for many organizations will be a question of convenience versus control and responsibility. 

Other considerations for choosing an on-premise intranet

Yes, over the long term on-premise is more cost-effective from a price-only perspective. Looking at the budget alone should never guide your overall decision-making, you should also be considering the following issues:

  • Server maintenance and hardware replacement costs 
  • Electricity for servers and cooling systems 
  • Backups and storage 
  • Windows updates, security, and anti-virus software 
  • Downtime and disaster recovery 

With a secure cloud intranet, these factors are built into the pricing model and are effectively outsourced to IC as part of the cost of doing business. Work environments are changing, so much so that it’s believed that ten years down the line the traditional centralized office would be a thing of the past.  

Are you future-proofing your organization? Book a demo now to learn more.

Resources to help you grow your intranet

By Paul Marcotte

Paul Marcotte is a lead software developer with close to two decades of experience in a variety of programming languages and technologies. He is passionate about software design patterns, development best practices, and software architecture. He also has a bachelor of commerce degree and is passionate about the big picture of how software helps businesses and users to thrive.