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Exploring Intranet vs. Extranet: What Sets Them Apart?


Introduction 

Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between an intranet and an extranet? If so, you’re in the right place. 

Understanding the distinction between intranets and extranets can help you effectively use these tools to streamline internal business operations, or facilitate secure external collaborations. 

In this article, you’ll discover the differences between extranets and intranets, with a particular focus on extranets. You’ll examine how extranets work, their use, and how they differ from intranets.  

Extranet vs. Intranet 

Extranet  

An extranet is a private network accessible to authorised external users, such as partners, suppliers, or customers. This type of network can be accessed remotely, requiring secure login credentials.  

Businesses often use the client portal software to: 

  • collaborate with external parties 
  • securely share information 
  • manage joint projects 

The technology offers a secure method to share business information and resources with people outside the company while protecting sensitive data. 

Extranet Connectivity and Collaboration Graph

secure graphic

Intranet 

An intranet is a private network designed specifically for use inside the organisation.  

Intranets provide a secure and efficient way for employees or members of an organisation to: 

  • communicate and collaborate 
  • share information 
  • access necessary resources 
  • host training and development programs 
  • provide access to employee directories and contact information 

Differences between extranet and intranet 

Both intranet and extranet are private networks used for collaboration. 

The main difference between them is that an intranet is used by an organisation to share information and resources among its staff. 

An extranet extends this network to include authorised external parties such as clients, suppliers, or partners. 

This difference is the result of all the differences that follow, and you can check them out in the table below. 

Differences between extranet and intranet table: Breakdown

 

Features Intranet  Extranet
Accessibility  Accessible only to an organisation’s employees, members, or others with authorised access.  Accessible to authorised external users, such as partners, suppliers, or customers. 
Purpose  Used for internal communication, sharing information, and accessing company resources.  Used for collaboration with external parties, securely sharing information, and managing joint projects. 
Security  Typically more secure due to being a closed network.  Requires login credentials to get in. Provides a secure way to share information and resources with people outside the company without compromising sensitive data. 
Information Sharing  Used to communicate and collaborate within the organisation. Typically used for one-way communication, where the company shares information with its employees.  Used for collaboration with external partners. Provides a secure way to share information and resources with people outside the company without compromising sensitive data. 
Cost  Generally less expensive due to the limited number of users.  Can be more expensive due to the larger number of users and the need for additional security measures. 
Maintenance  Managed and maintained by internal IT staff.  May require collaboration with external IT partners. 
Benefits  Improves internal communication, reduces information silos, improves collaboration within the organisation, and ensures secure access to the company resources.  Enables collaboration with external parties, speeds up decision-making processes, streamlines project management, and enhances supply chain management. 

Download our PDF to discover all the extranet features. 

Why companies use intranet 

Besides providing a private network for organisations, there are other benefits why companies use intranet.  

Easy Access and Share of Information 

Companies prefer to use the modern intranet because it allows employees to access and share information and files easily. 

This helps reduce the amount of time spent searching for information and enables employees to work more efficiently.  

In addition, intranets help reduce costs by streamlining processes and reducing the need for paper-based documentation. 

 

Kahootz Extranet Interface

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration 

Intranets help in enhancing communication and collaboration among team members.  

With an intranet, employees can easily share ideas, feedback, and knowledge, regardless of their physical location.  

This can help foster a culture of collaboration within the organisation. 

Enhanced employee regulations 

Intranets provides employees with access to essential resources such as training materials, policies, and procedures.  

This ensures all employees are up-to-date on company policies and procedures.  

Why Your Project Extranet Should be in the Cloud 

There are plenty of reasons why your project extranet should be in the cloud and here are some of them:  

Fast setup 

In our fast-paced world, project time is precious. Setting up your extranet shouldn’t be another project.  

When using online, or cloud-based solutions, setting up an extranet can be done quickly, sometimes in minutes. Traditional solutions might be more complicated and require help from your IT team.  

With the cloud, you get a shared platform ready to help your project from the start. 

Anywhere, anytime access 

With a cloud-based extranet, you can reach it from any place, using any device that can connect to the internet.  

Whether you’re at the airport using your smartphone to access data, or at home sharing files with your team, the cloud is accessible. 

All your content in one place 

Having multiple versions of a file or important documents spread across different servers can be problematic.  

The cloud puts an end to that by storing everything in one shared space. Everyone on your team can always access the latest version of any file. 

OneGov Cloud Interface

Safe and cost-effective teamwork

The cloud is now very secure, eliminating past concerns about data safety. Software providers now offer strong data security measures, including:

  • secure data centres
  • strong encryption
  • independent information security certifications like ISO 27001

Using the cloud can also be more cost effective than traditional methods of teamwork, like mailing printed documents or travelling for meetings, and setting up complex extranet software.

Build trust between partners

If your project involves multiple organisations as equal partners, understanding the advantages of extranet use, such as building trust through a cloud-based system, becomes pivotal. Many people report that when the extranet is hosted online, everyone feels a shared sense of ownership, which can also enhance teamwork.

How to Choose the Right Extranet Software 

 

1. Know your goal

Companies often pick online project network software, or “extranet” software, just for its many features. Instead of just looking at features, focus on what you want to do with your project extranet.  

 This will depend on your industry, company, or project team. For example: 

  • In Architecture and Construction, many roles can use a secure extranet to plan and organise a project from start to finish. 
  • The Public Sector uses extranets in many ways, like creating shared services, collaborating with key people, planning for emergencies, and managing projects. 
  • In Law and Professional Services, lawyers can use extranets to share confidential documents securely with clients and other firms. 

Talk to your colleagues about their needs for an extranet. This can help you choose one that works for your whole organisation, reducing the risk and cost of using multiple different systems. 

 

2. Match tools to your goal and the needs of your stakeholders

Once you know the goal of your extranet, you can look for the tools that will help you reach it. Different extranets offer different tools, and it can be hard to know what you’ll need ahead of time. 

The best way to decide is to think about your stakeholders. Do you want to inform, consult, or collaborate with them, or a mix of all three?  

Once you know, you can choose the tools that best suit their level of involvement. This can help you avoid software that doesn’t have the functionality you need or that has too much extra functionality at a higher price. 

Delen Home Interface Extranet

3. Ensure workspaces are adaptable

Once you’ve narrowed down the software options to those with the tools you need, ensure their online workspaces are adaptable.  

For example, if you’ll be working with external partners, you might need tools like document version control, team calendars, and task lists.  

If you just need to consult with third parties, you might rely more on file sharing, surveys, polls, and discussion forums. 

Make sure you can set up the workspace with only the tools you need now, so users aren’t distracted by the functionality they don’t need. 

 

4. Test the software

Any good cloud-based modern extranet software should offer a free trial. This is a crucial step in picking software. 

Once you’ve made a shortlist of extranets, use the free trials to see how each one performs and how easy they are to use.  

Feedback from users is really important at this stage and will help you see which software will help you reach your goal and be accepted by your colleagues and external stakeholders. 

 

Why Kahootz for Extranet

Kahootz’s extranet portal software is the perfect solution for businesses looking to improve collaboration with clients, partners, and suppliers.  

With the ability to securely share up to 20GB of files, Kahootz makes exchanging large amounts of data quick and easy.  

The platform’s many extranet features allow you to: 

  • organise task management 
  • stimulate discussions 
  • consult on business changes 
  • collaborate on documents with partners

Kahootz multi device product screenshots

With Kahootz’s access controls, you have the freedom to decide what folders and features your staff, partners, and clients can see.  

With Kahootz, you can strengthen client relationships and invite them to join you in a collaborative online workspace.  

Request a demo today and transform the way you work with others. 

Conclusion 

Throughout this article, we have explored the features, purposes, and benefits of extranet and intranet.  

While intranets facilitate internal communication and resource sharing, extranets extend this functionality to authorised external parties, including partners, suppliers, or customers.  

To effectively leverage extranets’ power effectively, choose the right extranet software that aligns with your organisation’s goals and stakeholder needs. 

Kahootz’s extranet software stands out as an excellent choice for businesses seeking to enhance collaboration with clients, partners, and suppliers.  

Join hundreds of thousands of people across public sector organisations, enterprises and not-for-profits who are using Kahootz to collaborate anytime, anywhere. 

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