There’s a lot that goes into the cost of an intranet. The price of intranet software itself is just the start. When making cost comparisons between solutions, it’s crucial to consider the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and all the elements that contribute to it. These elements go well beyond the base price of the platform and include:

  • Additional fees for premium features and services
  • Initial set-up and customization
  • Infrastructure
  • User training and support
  • Administration and management
  • Upgrades and change requests

Intranet offerings that reduce or eliminate any of these additional expenditures can dramatically lower TCO. Let’s take a closer look at key factors you should weigh when shopping for the most cost-effective solutions.

1. Cost of the Intranet Platform

Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to determine whether there are any hidden fees beyond the base price – necessary features that aren’t included and that add significant extra charges. With Jive, everything you need for a complete interactive intranet, from core collaboration and communication capabilities, to advanced analytics and gamification features, to integrations with other systems, is included in the standard package for one price.

2. Intranet Set up Costs and Customization

What will it take to actually build an intranet that fits your company’s needs – in terms of functionality, user experience, and look and feel? At the high end of the intranet cost spectrum are home-grown intranets based on general-purpose document management platforms like SharePoint and content management frameworks like Drupal. Those can take a lot of technical resources to fully meet your requirements, amounting to tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor costs.

At the other end of the cost continuum is a purpose-built, turnkey intranet like Jive, which is ready to run right out of the box. No expensive customization is required. Jive’s intranet solution includes ready-made spaces and pages for popular use cases such as news, departmental portals and employee support, as well as easy-to-use templates for additional use cases, and drag-and-drop layouts and themes to apply your look and feel. These and other features make it quick and simple to configure a branded, company-tailored intranet without costly web development experts and little or no IT help.

3. Intranet Infrastructure Costs

If you’re planning an on-premises system, be sure to factor in hosting costs, which can be substantial. On the other hand, with solutions like Jive in the cloud, infrastructure costs are zero.

4. User Training and Support

Many traditional intranets, based on unintuitive platforms like SharePoint, require sizable ongoing investments in training and support. At an industry average cost of $15 per ticket, support can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars or more per year, draining help desk resources that might otherwise be directed to more urgent needs.

Jive’s simple, consumer-style interface is virtually self-explanatory and requires little or no training. It comes with easy-to-use self-help resources for onboarding new users, and the social nature of the platform encourages peer support. Jive systems typically deflect 20% or more of potential support tickets, according to independent research on Jive customer implementations, which significantly cuts help desk costs and frees up IT resources.

5. Administration and Management

With Jive, admin and management are so simple they can be handled by non-technical staff. Even end users can perform many functions that would require IT intervention using SharePoint and other traditional solutions. For example, business users can create and manage their own team, group and departmental spaces.

6. Intranet Upgrades and Change Requests

With SharePoint intranets and home-grown solutions, the ongoing demand for fixes and improvements can put a heavy load on your IT team. With Jive, it’s simple for users and community managers to make changes themselves with no need for technical staff. And when your intranet is hosted in Jive cloud, feature upgrades are automatic.

If you add up all of the above intranet costs, it’s clear that a modern, out-of-the-box intranet like Jive can save hundreds of thousands of dollars or more per year. Companies using SharePoint intranets typically have to dedicate anywhere from six to a dozen IT staff members to intranet-related tasks – at an average starting salary of $100,000 per person. Jive requires only a fraction of those resources. Even the largest Jive customers – massive corporations with hundreds of thousands of employees – typically need only a maximum of three full-time people working on their Jive instance, and smaller companies manage well with only one FTE (full-time employee) or less.

Beyond TCO, there’s one more critical factor to consider: time to value. No matter how much you spend on your intranet portal, you’re not getting your money’s worth if employees aren’t using it. If adoption is low and usage anemic, your ROI is going to suffer.

Here again, Jive has an edge over traditional alternatives. With its highly engaging features, rewarding user experiences and productivity-enhancing collaboration capabilities, Jive pushes adoption and participation rates far beyond those of traditional intranets. Jive customers see an industry-best average daily active user rate between 71% and 80%, far surpassing typical SharePoint intranets.

The upshot: when evaluating intranet costs, be sure to run all the numbers. When you do, you’ll see that a modern, cloud-based, out-of-the-box intranet can not only save your company a lot of money – it can also help you get much more value out of your investment. You win on both ends.


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