The hidden costs of Custom Intranet Portal development

Topics: SharePoint Intranet Portal

Written by Jessica Northey

The Hidden Costs of Custom Intranet Portal Development

  1. Improper planning
  2. Intranet branding
  3. Customization costs
  4. Migration of contents to the intranet
  5. Possible integration issues



Improper Planning:

The first task prior to acquiring an intranet portal software, improper planning can become costly. First communicate with all your company’s stakeholders input on the purpose of upgrading your standard SharePoint intranet portal. What are your business goals and objectives for a new intranet? What are the technical resources needed to deliver it? Once these goals are set, you can discuss it with potential vendors.

Dock has over 15 years of experience in working with Microsoft platform.  We have launched planning to deployment projects for several enterprise clients. We have extensive experience in building SharePoint intranet portal solutions for enterprise clients with 2,000 users to 10,000 users. Even if our clients haven’t done the proper planning, we spend time with them gathering data, analysis phase, implement solution design, detailed development, deployment, and production support for large enterprise custom SharePoint site deployments. In addition, we also have experience in SharePoint migration to the cloud, SharePoint upgrades and more for small to large corporations.

Intranet branding:

Although your company intranet isn’t outward facing to the public, having it developed to your brand identity doesn’t mean you should ignore matching it for the company. It’s an unfortunate missed step that’s not taken into consideration during development. The lack of branding has a significant impact on employee adoption and possibly the overall corporate culture. It’s important to make sure your potential vendors are including this in the process without an extra cost to look as beautiful as your website and your brand.

Dock’s clients have a variety of custom branded templates to choose from to decide on layout and branding.  Our design team specializes in helping clients to build the unique solutions to their specific branding guidelines and needs.

Read more: Using Free SharePoint Templates vs. Dock’s Pre-Built Intranet Portal Experience.

Customization costs: 

With the standard SharePoint intranet portal software, the issue is that it’s almost always the case that your company won’t be able to have the exact requirements your teams will need. For example, it’s possible you’ll need a feature it doesn’t offer, a certain workflow adjusted to fit your needs or a new business app built and integrated with your intranet platform. With some vendors, customizations like these can add up. To avoid this potential pitfall, always review their billing model.

With Dock, our customization cost is very cost effective because we can save money by using remote resources.  Most of our customizations are at a fixed cost. Our customers pre-approve the cost before we start working on any feature enhancement.  This helps them to plan their budget accordingly.

Migration of contents to the intranet: 

It’s important for your employees to have access to the most up-to-date content that’s accurate and useful to be more engaged with the company intranet. This begins with deciding which content belongs on your intranet portal and making plans to keep it fresh. Evaluating your content needs to be done in the migrating phase from existing systems into your new intranet. When performing a content evaluation, your business must understand employees and common business functions to determine which content should be on the intranet and how the content is organized. The content evaluation and structuring stage of the development process can take a significant amount of man hours that should be put into consideration.

Fortunately for our clients, Dock’s development team implements a document migration tool. We provide the migration tool to our customers at an affordable cost.

Possible integration issues:

The SharePoint out-of-the-box site can make it difficult to integrate an array of business processes your teams need in one central location. This can lead to frustration and interruptions in your employee’s productivity. If you’re not planning, this issue can leak into working with a vendor when building a custom intranet, which can make sharepoint integration of every important business process even more difficult.

Dock has experience in integration with the SharePoint platform with various third-party applications. We think of these things ahead of time on your behalf to quickly get you up and running so that you can get back to the day-to-day business needs that are important to your company. 

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