Effective team collaboration and seamless information sharing are the two most critical factors that drive innovative ideas, foster organizational growth, boost employee performance, and overall productivity. Business organizations writing success stories admit that robust internal communication has allowed them to unleash various benefits such as improving employee engagement and experience, initiating a better work culture in the office, and more.
Enter intranet software, which has unified teams and accelerated business growth.
The following blog will focus on intranet software solutions, core features, critical advantages, and the top free open source intranet tools.
What is Intranet?
An intranet is a private and secured computer network meant for internal communications within a company. This network is accessible by selected people who can securely share the information to other team members and departments.
Intranet has become a potent vehicle for strong collaboration and effective communication, helping to carry out tasks with ease. The organization does not have to invest in any other hardware network or expensive proprietary.
The Purpose of Using Intranet Networks
The significant uses of intranet include-
Making Tasks More Feasible- Intranet networks work on streamlining the daily repetitive tasks and making them more feasible and straightforward.
Strong Collaboration Between Teams and Departments - Most organizations plan to adopt intranet technology to establish robust and improved collaboration between the different teams and departments, which can accelerate projects.
Managing Information in Single Database- Intranet centralizes and manages the complete information in a single database, making it easier to find relevant content.
Offer Personalized Content- One of the essential purposes of the intranet is to provide personalized and customized content to all employees accessing the network.
Improving Internal Communication- Intranet also improves the internal communication within the organization by creating an employee directory, organizational charts, a news feed, and posts regularly.
Providing Easy Access to Information- Intranet also intends to offer quick and easy access to wide-ranging information and updates on company policies and other benefits.
Practical Tips to Manage Modern Intranet
The best intranet management practices include-
- Determine the Employees' Needs- First and foremost, you must determine the needs of your employees using the intranet facility. You can implement a virtual comment box asking employees to suggest what features they would prefer to use.
- Strategize a Solid Plan- Now that you have got the feedback and suggestions from the member community, it is time to start with robust planning. You have clearly defined goals to plan an intranet strategy. For instance, you should choose the right platform and pay attention to the user experience.
- Determine the Specific Roles- You need to define the roles and responsibilities clearly. Also, pinpoint key professionals to maintain and run the intranet. The intranet manager should be well versed with the technology.
- Strategy to Create and Manage Content- Content management is an integral part of intranet technology. Hence, it becomes crucial to plan and publish your content, which is accessible to internal audiences. You need to create a content scheduling strategy that helps to simplify this job.
- Strategy to Establish Collaboration and Communication- Collaboration and communication are the two most important pillars of the intranet network. The intranet manager should create an effective communication channel where all employees from various departments can seamlessly collaborate.
- Sending Notifications Regularly- You need to ensure that the notifications are sent that keeps the employees up-to-date regarding the latest happenings and events taking place at the workplace. Furthermore, they are aware of the current status of the project. regularly
- Managing Time- Time management plays a critical role in intranet governance. This helps them to avoid essential deadlines and stay ahead in the game.
- Managing the Brand Identity- Brand identity is a valuable asset for any organization that not only keeps the external audience interested but it remains a focal point within the internal setup. A consolidated brand identity always helps employees to stay motivated and improves employee engagement.
- Organizing the Intranet- It is essential to keep your intranet well explicitly organized when there is a lot of content on the website. The intranet should not get cluttered, which can disrupt the user experience.
- Following the Latest Intranet Trends- Keep track of the latest intranet trends and adopt those to gain the technology's advantage. You can make changes in the features that simplify the tasks of your employees.
Why is it critical for employees to collaborate and stay connected across departments?
The concept of cross-departmental collaboration is gaining more impetus with companies working on many complex and diversified projects. For example, a mobile application development project requires application developers (Android, iOS, or both), UI and UX designers, application testers, a digital marketing team to promote the application, and more. The advantages of cross-department collaboration include-
- Increase Efficiency of Employees- Employee collaboration encourages and initiates the efficiency and productivity of the employees. This means that the team can quickly meet the project deadlines since different people are working on the same task.
- Stay Connected with Remote Teams- Collaboration also allows team members to stay in touch with remote workers. The intranet technology in alignment with collaboration software makes this activity easier through advanced tools.
- Result-Oriented Brainstorming- Most teams and departments indulge in a brainstorming session before commencing a project that helps them to prepare a roadmap ahead. Brainstorming ideas becomes easier towards the achievement of a common goal.
- Boost Employee Satisfaction- Workplace collaboration creates a healthy and positive environment where the employee starts feeling more valued for his potential talent. He /she gets a favorable atmosphere at the office, and thus the employee retention rate also increases.
- Speeds Up Problem Solving- A group of professionals can solve an issue much quicker than a person. This tends to avoid any delay in the project.
- Nurtures Employee Skill- Collaboration leads to improved interaction and exchange of ideas, which is beneficial for employees and organizations. The employees have a viable opportunity to share their thoughts and learn from the other person, understanding his /her working process. Thus, they can expand their skill sets and conduct a self-analysis of their knowledge.
- Faster Adoption of Innovation- Departmental collaboration also allows organizations to implement innovative technologies at a quicker pace. It also enables management to make quick decisions through cross-department team meetings and discussions.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction- Collaboration is vital for upscaling and enhancing customer satisfaction levels. Since organizations can provide escalating solutions, it makes the customers feel happier.
Main Issues with Managing Intranet
Intranets may have personalized communication and allowed companies to secure their content more precisely, but still, there are a few loopholes in managing the website. Let's discuss the main intranet challenges below-
- One of the common issues which most companies face is low intranet usage.
- Another challenge that may prop up is the dropping off of the users.
- Many organizations fail to provide adequate support or intranet training to their employees.
- Poor user experience is another reason why employees shun away from using the intranet network.
- The company may have to encounter challenges that include a lack of communication and collaboration between teams.
- The information or content available on the intranet may be irrelevant or inappropriate to employees.
- There is no control or governance model in place.
- Also, there may be problems related to breach of security, and the content gets leaked out.
Well, you may face various issues and challenges in managing the intranet network. Still, all these pitfalls can be resolved by implementing the best free and open source intranet software. So, let's begin with the definition of intranet software.
What is Intranet Software?
Intranet software is an advanced and next-generation tool that allows companies of all sizes to create private and secured networks, which are only accessible to internal employees working within the organization. An intranet tool's fundamental aim is to upscale collaboration, improve communication, share information, and boost employee productivity.
Today, modern and sophisticated intranet systems use social networking, enabling employees to create and submit profiles, view all content in one centralized location, make comments, and share posts.
The best intranet software can either be hosted (cloud or on-premise) or custom-built intranet.
The first type is also known as SaaS-based or social intranet. This is more prevalent and popular these days. It is cost-effective and provides automatic updates.
The custom-built intranet solution that allows you to create a customized application with intranet software open source. It costs more than a hosted intranet enabling you to add specialized features.
The Typical Features of Intranet Software
The best free and open source intranet software gets a power booster with outstanding features that makes the tools more robust and reliable. The typical features include-
Benefits of Implementing Intranet Software
Today business enterprises are looking for an innovative tool that keeps all departments and teams stay connected in one place. Thankfully, intranet software has addressed all such concerns and improved its internal communication, providing a comprehensive set of benefits. The main advantages include-
- Streamlined Collaboration- The intranet software solution streamlines team collaboration to communicate effectively with coworkers and other departments. The improved collaboration allows different teams to simultaneously work on the same project and make changes in the document or view previous edits.
- Improved Employee Engagement- Improved employee engagement is one of the primary reasons why most organizations plan to implement the intranet solution. Also, enhancement in employee engagement leads to better employee retention and satisfaction level. It makes the work culture more inspiring and happy.
- Increase Productivity and Save More Time- Intranet software has also propelled to increase employee productivity with innovative and time-saving tools. The best intranet platforms serve as the organization's digital information store hub where employees can access every single detail and document.
- Seamless Information Sharing- Intranet system has become one of the most viable and reliable platforms for seamless information sharing. The information is easily shared and accessible across multiple devices, channels, networks, and locations.
- Integration With Other Systems- The intranet software can seamlessly integrate with other advanced systems such as content management systems, document management software, and others. It can also synchronize with other tools such as SharePoint, Google Drive, Google Doc, etc.
- Connecting the Distributed Employees- It has become much easier to connect with distributed employees or people working remotely. The likes of video conferencing, voice chatting, instant messaging, and others have allowed employees to access information at their fingertips.
- Simplifies the Onboarding Process- The onboarding process becomes simpler with HR managers able to access documents in one place. The recruits can also view the org charts, dynamic company profiles, and more. Intranet tools speed up the onboarding process.
- Captures and Preserves Knowledge- Organizations also implement free and open source intranet software to capture, store, and preserve knowledge, which can get misplaced or manhandled. The companies can preserve content ideas, critical decisions, and actions.
- Document Searching Becomes Easier- Employees can quickly and easily search documents, information, coworkers, and other people working in the organization. All credit goes to cloud-based intranet software.
- Robust Security- Intranet software provides uncompromised security when it comes to securing critical information. You can control the information access with restriction features as to who will view your content.
Why Select Free and Open Source Intranet Software?
The free and open source intranet software helps to centralize all employees, conversations, and documents in one place. Also, it eases out team collaboration and encourages the free flow of information. Also, it customizes the content management system and accelerates knowledge sharing.
The open source elements allow users to add tailored content and features, create and edit web pages with ease. Since they offer a free basic version, users don't have to pay anything for implementing the intranet system. Besides, a few others provide a free trial period, which means the users can first try and use it and then go for the subscribed version.
Free and Open Source Intranet Software
Comparison Table for the 7 Best Free and Open Source Intranet Software
Bitrix24 ((Free and Open Source)
Bitrix24 is a leading and best free and open source social intranet software powered by both cloud and on-premise. The software is completely free for small enterprises and startups. This optimal solution is that it offers more than thirty free intranet tools. The businesses can also get access to intuitive mobile applications, content management systems, application programming interfaces, open source codes, and much more.
The free intranet system also provides integration with various other advanced tools such as Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint lists, Microsoft Exchange, active directory, etc.
The intranet solutions are also available on the mobile phone. You need to install the application on an Android or iOS device and start accessing the information from anywhere, anytime. Bitrix24 also offers intranet software for streamlining the HR activities, project management, document, and record management along with the basic features.
- Bitrix 24 offers intranet software both on cloud and on-premise
- The software includes a fully customizable content management system.
- The social intranet tool is packed with a wide range of features such as group chatting, real-time messaging, enterprise social networking, videoconferencing, likes, mention, etc.
- The HR intranet includes features like HRIS, time management, corporate trip requests, leave requests, employee self-service, work reports, absence calendar, etc.
- If you have to manage a project using the intranet system, you can manage unlimited workgroups, limitless subtasks, Gantt charts, task templates, and more.
- You can also get access to event scheduler, shared calendars, public and private events, book meeting room, etc., with intranet calendar and planning.
- The intranet tool also provides advanced email features such as a free email server, IMAP support, and unlimited storage facilities.
TWiki (Free and Open Source)
TWiki is another viable option for free and open source intranet software that also serves as a robust and flexible web application and enterprise collaboration platform. The intranet tool is known as structured Wiki, which helps to operate the project development and document management system.
TWiki allows you to create stunning web applications without any knowledge of programming language. You can also run different groupware tools on both intranet and extranet. The software enables developers to extend its functionality using plugins. You can improve the information flow within your organization, enhance team collaboration and productivity, and remove the issue of outdated intranet content.
Twiki is a usual Intranet software that offers an edit option on every page so that anyone can make changes or additions to the content with a browser. Due to its user-friendliness, this intranet tool is used by several top companies to collaborate globally and merge projects.
- TWiki allows you to create and edit web pages on any web browser. There is no need for FTP or http to upload the pages.
- This free and open source intranet software enables you to organize and structure the content.
- The software provides a simple and powerful text formatting tool allowing you to write text like an email.
- You also get automatic email notifications when there is a change in the web page.
- You can enhance TWiki's functionality using the plugin modules.
- Variables help to compose pages.
- The browser also helps to upload and download file attachments.
- The revision control feature allows you to track all changes made on the pages. You can know who made the changes and when it was done.
Liferay (Open Source With Free Trial)
Liferay is a modern open source intranet software and content management system that helps entrepreneurs run their businesses seamlessly and efficiently. They can address the needs of the workforce more effectively and provide improved consistency while delivering customer solutions.
Liferay also dominates other areas such as B2B commerce, offering integration platforms, best-in-class partners, and customer portals. Also, you can gain more control and flexibility over the CMS with headless API platforms.
The software has played a critical role in substituting the traditional internal workplace system with advanced solutions and interfaces. Plus, it also provides a modern reusable, and affordable system backed by modular architecture. For businesses to adopt digital transformation, the software offers a highly secure, robust, and reliable platform.
Liferay caters to the needs of a wide range of industries such as government, manufacturing, banking, healthcare, and retail, etc. The software provides a 30-day free trial period to all its users.
- The intranet tool helps minimize the paperwork and reduces the business operational costs by digitizing the entire process.
- Identify the key spots where employees are facing issues and optimize the operations.
- Liferay helps to cater to employee requirements to streamline their performance and serve customers in an improved manner.
- You can offer an official repository of information to access it from anywhere.
- The platform enables employees to share information and content seamlessly across multiple channels and locations.
- Enhance your office productivity for both internal and remote employees.
- Secure your organization's knowledge and quickly onboard new employees.
EXO (Open Source With Free Trial)
EXO is a leading open source intranet software and a top-rated digital workplace solutions provider that helps boost employee engagement and productivity. The software helps to modernize internal communications. Furthermore, it unifies the workforce innovatively and leverages the ecosystem to improve employee performance.
EXO also serves as a viable collaboration software that helps teams connect seamlessly and perform tasks quickly.
EXO portal framework helps to manage authentication, authorization, and permissions. It even controls the user interface composition in addition to the default intranet website. You can also unleash the benefits of other collaborative applications that help to manage tasks, calendars, video calls, forums, and chats, etc. The social layer functionality shows the user profiles, activities, post notifications, and manages space tools. The open source version of intranet application comes with a free trial for 7 days.
- The software allows you to easily target and reach your audience with rich company-curated content using various social media platforms.
- Boost collaboration across the company with the best collaboration tool.
- Give your employees the right set of tools to work together.
- Encourage information sharing and make way for interdisciplinary communities and teams.
- You can even monitor employee engagement and further promote such practices.
- The tool ensures consistency in internal communications.
- Transform the employee experience by connecting them with company knowledge and relevant applications.
Precurio (Open Source With Free Trial)
If you search for an open source intranet software at budget-friendly prices, you have probably arrived at the right destination. Precurio is a top-rated intranet software company that provides highly customizable solutions based on client's needs. You can seamlessly manage all your company's documents and content and streamline workforce collaboration. The software can easily integrate with other advanced applications. You can also implement the tools to automate the manual forms and process.
Precurio also allows you to make, share, and upload documents. Furthermore, you can create and publish the forms with ease. It has a next-generation solution that offers a wide range of enterprise collaboration tools such as task manager, event manager, project workspaces, company forums, real-time messaging facility, etc. This means that you can start the internal collaboration and communication instantly.
The intranet portal allows employees to access the organization's directory anywhere, anytime. They can easily search any name, department, location, etc., the managers can easily view and manage the task status in real-time. The departments have internal and confidential discussions on the company forums. The software provides a free trial period of upto 60 days.
- Precurio provides a set of comprehensive features, including directory synchronization, role-based access control, and more.
- The intranet application also serves as document management software, helping to segregate the departments, customize and manage resources, open source structure, and much more.
- Precurio is also a workflow automation tool that works and promotes the innovative paperless office concept.
- Keep all your employees fully updated regarding the latest happenings and events taking place in the office.
- Manage all company's and department's information in one place and easily organize the entire content.
- The tool provides instant messaging and chats facilities to communicate internally.
Quintagroup Intranet (Open Source But Not Free)
Quintagroup Intranet Is a Plone-based open source intranet software that helps to share information and manage information seamlessly across various platforms. The CMS intranet solution enables you to share data across multiple locations smoothly, while the open source platform allows you to manage workflow and reduce expenses.
The employees can share their ideas and knowledge without moving away from their places. This modern intranet software solution works to improve communication and enable quick interaction between two offices. Also, the users can take advantage of the additional benefits such as advanced search options and intranet blogs.
- This is one of the best intranet platforms that offers collaborative knowledge management. It leads to enhanced participation of employees and boosts coordination.
- The cloud-based intranet software also encourages seamless information sharing. The website owners can easily upload the content with the folder hierarchy.
- The open source intranet tool streamlines the customized workflow, helping managers assign specified tasks to individuals and coworkers.
- The document versioning serves as a revision control solution.
- The intranet software offers a single sign-in process, which enhances employee productivity.
- Access information across the website in a secured manner.
Engynn (Free But Not Open Source)
Engynn is a simple and powerful free social intranet software that offers the best seamless internal connection within an organization. This free online intranet solution is easy to set up with a simplified content editor. You can securely create customized intranet content. Although Engynn is a free intranet system, it is highly scalable and offers round clock support services.
It also offers a robust social networking platform where you can create user profiles, make comments, and do instant messaging. This cloud-based intranet software allows you to host the documents and files in Doc Cloud with quick access facilities.
- Engynn provides a more than useful social news feed containing details regarding the latest news, events, updates, etc/
- You can host the files on Doc Cloud and access it 24x7.
- Engage more audience with an internal social network.
- Build all pages and add them to the menu list.
- Allow employees and users to chat seamlessly with instant messenger.
- Enable users to create customized profiles.
- The event or calendar function comes with RSVP and sharing features.
- The intranet software solutions help to organize users based on departments and profiles.
- Get more control over who can view information and access content.
This blog may have highlighted the seven best free and open source intranet software. Still, the discussion is somewhat incomplete without mentioning Simpplr, a popular choice in this category. Let's throw some viable light on this particular intranet software.
Simpplr (Popular Choice)
Simpplr is the best intranet software that helps employees collaborate seamlessly across various departments and stay connected with the organization. This business intranet software has digitized communications and transformed work culture. You can create a virtual newsroom and start a digital headquarter.
Simpplr has modernized the intranet technology by providing the workforce with the software. The intranet tool helps to connect distributed teams working at different locations.
This intranet solution reduces IT dependencies and lowers the total cost of ownership. Also, it helps to improve branding and consumer-grade usability enabling organizations to build a smarter workforce. There is an innovative feature known as Auto Governance Engine, which allows you to avoid content dumping situations and keeps everything updated. The pre-built SharePoint integration enables the team to search for crucial information. Simpplr offers a 14-day free trial period with limited space.
- Simpplr helps to build a network across different locations and departments to connect the coworkers.
- Provide meaningful and relevant information to your employees to boost their experience.
- The artificial intelligence-powered knowledge graph helps to personalize content based on employee's interests.
- The employee directory enables you to connect customers with the right person to serve them.
- The intranet tool provides an interactive dashboard containing vital information and announcements with a carousel on the intranet homepage.
- The software is also accessible in both Android and iOS mobile application formats.
- The employees also get SMS and push notifications keeping them informed about the latest happenings.
- The software integrates with the best knowledge management systems to simplify and enhance intelligent search capabilities.
The intranet software also helps higher management to monitor and measure employee performance with actionable insights.
The global intranet software market is expected to reach around $25.5 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 14.2%, says a report. The computer-based internal information sharing system and collaboration tool have got a big boost with cloud-powered solutions, artificial intelligence, mobile integration, personalized experience, etc. According to a study, all these disruptive trends have enhanced 20% employee satisfaction levels and a 7% boost in employee productivity. Furthermore, cybersecurity has become more fortified with best-in-class intranet tool features.
The intranet software has fueled a wide range of industry verticals such as IT, telecommunication, defense, government agencies, banking, finance, insurance, manufacturing, and many more. Intranet technology has allowed employees to do their jobs simply and share information seamlessly across multiple platforms.
Have you implemented and used any of the software on a previous note? If yes, then we welcome your feedback and reviews on the same. You can share your experience with us.
You can also browse through our software directory page to get familiar with what other software categories can be of use to you.