A project extranet is a great way to share protected information with suppliers, external partners and even customers. But if you’re planning to create a new extranet in today’s business environment, is there really any option other than a cloud-based platform? We believe the answer is no - and here’s why…
We’re living in the age of super-fast broadband and high-speed rail. Speed is everything. Whatever the nature of your project, you’re guaranteed to be up against the clock from the very first meeting. With this in mind, you really don’t want the creation of a project extranet to become a project in its own right.
A new extranet can be created and deployed quickly when it’s in the cloud - sometimes within minutes. In contrast, non-cloud solutions are likely to be more complex and will require support from the IT department. The cloud provides the collaborative structure you need to support your project effectively, right from the word go.
Extranet portals in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, using any web-enabled device. Review documents on your smartphone at the airport, share files with your team while working from home - whatever you need to get the job done.
Content all in one place
It’s frustrating when multiple versions of the same file are flying around, or when your key documents are saved across several servers. Both these scenarios become a thing of the past with a cloud project extranet. Files are stored in a single, shared space, so each team member always has access to the latest version of any document.
Secure, cost-effective collaboration
Gone are the days when using the cloud meant data security headaches. It’s now possible to find cloud collaboration software with watertight security credentials - look for a provider that can offer secure data centres, robust encryption and an independent security certification such as ISO 27001.
Using the cloud is also likely to be much more cost-effective than both traditional means of collaborating (sending printed documents to external parties in the post, organising travel to meetings) and installing complex extranet software.
Build trust between partners
If you’re embarking on a project in which each organisation is an equal partner, creating your extranet in the cloud can help to build trust. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that when the extranet is hosted independently, a sense of shared ownership develops between parties - great for encouraging effective collaboration!
Of course, there’s more to selecting project extranet software than simply finding a cloud provider. For more information, check out this blog post on choosing the right extranet software for your needs or download our free guide to 10 Killer Features of a Project Extranet.