With more of our data destined for the Cloud, the natural path is for enterprises to source Cloud based applications. Moving to the Cloud not only provides the obvious cost savings associated with procuring and maintaining ones own infrastructure, but being outside the firewall also enables opportunities to achieve greater business value through the marketplace for third party web services. Intranets are no different. Considered a cornerstone application wedded to on premise infrastructure, running a Cloud based Intranet enables staff to access operational content no matter where they are; in the office, working at a client site or on the other side of the world.
Taking it a step further, combining a Cloud based Intranet with mobile applications enables a new type of work force autonomy, where staff can get work done no matter what device they might be using. Security will always be paramount, and authenticating users in the Cloud while Active Directory remains on premise is a basic requirement for managing staff Intranet access.
Key points for launching a Cloud based Intranet include:
- Cloud solution provider
Which Cloud provider is the most suitable for hosting our Intranet? There are a growing number to choose from, both international and regional based. Dependent on the Intranet platform of choice, this will determine a short list of Cloud solution providers.
The protection of an organizations intellectual property is paramount, and there are ways to successfully protect against usernames and passwords being given away by staff and falling into the wrong hands. Two-factor authentication is a popular method and combines the creation of a One-Time Password (OTP) in addition to the username and password required to access the Intranet.
- Data portability
Using a Cloud based solution also requires careful consideration for the Terms and Conditions of the provider. How portable is your data once it’s published to the Cloud? Can you retrieve your data if you wish to cancel your subscription?
There are varying levels of support, for both application and Infrastructure support. Some providers will combine both application and infrastructure support, while others will treat them as separate support arrangements.