It’s easy to get intranets and extranets confused. Both have many similarities, including their main purpose which is to increase communication and collaboration. They also have several functional aspects in common. When trying to understand the main difference between an intranet vs extranet, you can use the first few letters of each word as a clue. Intranet facilitates internal communication, and an extranet facilitates external communication.
How are they similar?
Intranets and extranets allow you to store and share important information. For example, you can share HR documents, sales documents, employee directories, and more in a secure place. Creating a central location for your company’s documents will help keep your inbox less cluttered with unnecessary emails.
Creating a centralized calendar helps keep the whole office up to date on what’s happening. You can post when someone is out of the office or on vacation, when the conference room is booked, and when any important company-related events are going on.
Using a calendar to book meeting rooms will also help prevent you from a potentially awkward situation with your customers due to overbooking.
Both intranets and extranets can be a safe place to communicate. You can create chat channels and discussion boards for specific teams or the whole company. You can also facilitate a more communitive relationship with your partners and customers by creating chat channels specifically for them. The better the communication is in your business the better your success will be.
How are they different?
The key difference between intranets and extranet is who has access to it. An intranet is meant to be for employees only. It’s a safe place for you and your team to communicate and share important information.
The purpose of an extranet is to create a secure collaboration space for you and parties outside of your immediate organization. This gives your business the opportunity to collaborate with parties outside of your organization. You and your employees can easily share information with your partners, vendors, and customers.
An intranet is only accessible by those connected to your internal company network. It allows your team to privately share information and collaborate within your organization. An administrator has the authority to give users access and to decide how much access each user is allowed.
Extranets differ in that they are accessible through a secure online portal. Users can securely access the portal through their web browser using their login credentials. You won’t have to give anyone access to your company network to give them access to your extranet. This allows your clients, partners, and vendors to be able to access the portal remotely.
Intranet vs Extranet: Which is best for your business?
Deciding which system is better for you depends on how you plan to use it. If you’re looking for a way to facilitate better communication between you and your partners, then an extranet would be beneficial. If you don’t have to communicate with outside parties very often, then an intranet will work just fine.
Some businesses even take advantage of both. An extranet can be set up so that you can use it for internal communication with your employees and give your partners and customers limited access. This solution lets you keep your company information private while still being able to facilitate better communication with outside parties.
We can help you choose which system will be most beneficial for your business. Start facilitating better communication within your organization by learning more about intranets and extranets today.