How Long Does It Take to Deploy a Brand New Intranet?

How Long to Deploy an Intranet

One of the most common questions our prospects or new clients ask is, “How long will it take to deploy our new intranet?”

This is like a pregnant woman asking her health caregiver, “How long will it take for my baby to be born?”

The answer is, “Nobody knows.”

And nobody does, really. There are so many factors involved in deploying a new intranet that it’s virtually impossible to predict how much time would be required.

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But for purposes for planning and possibly scheduling an intranet launch, here are some things to consider to make an intelligent approximation.

5 Factors in the Birth Timing of Your Intranet

1. Mode of deployment

Is your intranet cloud-hosted or self-hosted? Cloud-hosted intranets are faster to set up. You will literally have an intranet in minutes. Spend another 5 minutes to customize it with your logos and branding colors. Then you’re off adding users and posting content.

Self-hosted intranets, on the other hand, take longer to deploy. You can install the software quickly, in most cases. Sometimes, there are hardware and software compatibility issues. Usually, nothing that would take hours to fix, though.

2. Technical support

Do you have full-time staff in charge of setting up the intranet? How many staff members will be hands-on, and how’s their workload? The more staff are involved and able to fully focus on deploying the intranet, the faster it will go.

3. Amount of content

Another factor that affects the length of time it takes to deploy your intranet is the amount of content you want to upload to begin with. If you need to move hundreds of documents to the new one, then that would take longer, compared to a company with only a dozen documents to upload.

Same holds true for e-forms and workflows you want to set up. Each one needs to be created and tested, before your intranet launch.

4. Content organization

How you organize your intranet content will also affect how long it takes to deploy it. Some organizations — and their intranets — are simpler than others.

If you have a large organization, or feel your content organization may be complicated, plan everything on paper first. Think of how your users would find the information they need, and take it from there. You probably won’t get everything right at first. At least start somewhere and tweak things from there.

5. Customization

The amount of customization you require also affects deployment time. If you want to make massive changes in the CSS, connect with external sites and set up user logins for them — all this will make deployment take longer.

As with all things, planning helps things go more smoothly. And don’t expect your intranet to be perfect when you launch it. Users will find bugs that escaped your testing. And they’ll also help you find ways to keep making the intranet better and better. Expect to be making improvements for a long time to come.

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Discuss This Article

Comments: 1

  • Intranet says:

    Hi Alexis,

    I think there are a whole set of concerns and requirements that you didn’t cover in your article that will need to be considered, in addition to your breakdown.

    For example, do you want your Intranet to be based on curated static content, or based on collaborative content, or both. Collaborative content implies very slow development and publishing times, such as in the case of developing a page on The development time of a single page that can be deemed “usable” by end users may take months. On the other extreme are Data Driven Web Site Compilers like NOUNZ, which can publish highly organized, and custom branded web sites that contain hundreds of thousands of static pages in less than an hour.

    Both concepts are at two extremes of the spectrum and need to be considered before deploying any Intranet solution, especially if you require a hybrid that links highly curated content to collaborative resources.

    It really comes down to manual content generation (social content) and site deployment vs. automated content generation (curated content) and site deployment. If you’re trying to manually build your libraries, catalogs, indexes, and links, all in addition to your content, you’ll never get anywhere. However, if you temper it with the right amount of automation, you can create hundreds of thousands (even millions) of automated pages that also include libraries, catalogs, indexes, and links, allowing for more content, higher quality, and much lower deployment costs.

    I hope this helps.

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