9 Best Open Source Intranet Software for 2021
Feb 09, 2021
By: Jason Smith
Intranets offer more than just avenues for communication within your company. They also present employees with a treasure trove of content and services, enabling them to perform better and become more effective.
On the contrary, when employers are forced to deal with unwieldy intranets, be it for lack of features or a cluttered UI, to manage their daily tasks, the negative impact on the company’s bottom line can be huge.
As such, implementing a robust intranet solution can give companies a competitive advantage. In fact, Deloitte research shows that companies with strong internal social and work networks are 7% more productive.
Yet, not all intranets are created equal, and some might not give you as many benefits as other, more consolidated, options. That’s why, in this article, we delve deeper into intranets and show you some of the best open source intranet software to supercharge your productivity in 2021.
Intranets: Going Beyond The Physical Workplace
Intranets were created to increase productivity in the physical workplace, but 2020 showed us that the workplace isn’t tied to a single location. The workplace has now become a concept rather than a specific site.
Yet, there is still the need for a centralized hub where employees can access company information and improve their communication. When employees don’t have access to a neural center to find what they are looking for, the company suffers. Plus, without an intranet, employees will start using their own tools, resulting in data silos and incompatible technologies.
These are some of the features you need to look for in a modern intranet in 2021:
- Intuitive user experience: Intranets shouldn’t look different from other applications and software, and they need to be easy to use.
- Integration with third-party applications: Modern intranets need to integrate with both corporate and consumer applications of all kinds.
- Availability as a mobile application: Modern intranets need to be available as native apps or PWAs to reach employees truly.
- Support for cloud office solutions: Be it Microsoft 365 or Google G-Suite, an intranet needs to work with the office suite your company uses.
- Personalization-ready: Modern intranets need to be able to personalize messages for both departments and users at a granular level.
Read More: Is Your Intranet Digital Workplace-ready?
9 Best Open Source Intranet Software Solutions for 2021
Intranets connect all of an organization’s teams, systems, and networks elevating your operations to a whole new level, you already know that. But why open source? Simple, because you need a platform with flexible information architecture. A platform you can tweak as per your company’s needs and unique workflows.
Yet, that’s not it. The main benefits of an open source platform for intranets include:
- Lower costs: Open source platforms tend to be more cost-effective than proprietary software.
- Extensibility: An open source intranet can be built into and can be extended to maximize growth.
- Integrability: The open source architecture enables developers to integrate with other platforms without the constraints of a proprietary solution.
- Powerful search: A modern intranet needs powerful search capabilities like Elasticsearch to be able to sift through all the data enterprise businesses have.
Now, let’s take a look at the best nine open source intranet solutions you must know in 2021:
dotCMS is a Java-based, open source hybrid DXP that enables medium, large, and enterprise-sized businesses to build, manage, and deploy content-based applications such as websites, SPAs, mobile apps, and intranets. dotCMS enables centralized content and asset management and omnichannel delivery.
Liferay DXP is a Java-based, enterprise-oriented DXP. Liferay enables users to set up intranets that behave just like websites built on top of a web application framework. Liferay DXP supports extensibility and works with every programming language capable of running the Java Runtime Environment.
Uintra is a Umbraco-based intranet platform that takes from social media and combines news, events, and other company-wide activities into one collective feed for users. Like dotCMS, Uintra also leverages the capabilities of Elasticsearch.
eXo enables teams to connect, align, and engage around a single interface. With eXo, users can improve their peer-to-peer communication and improve collaboration. The intranet platform serves as a social networking platform that includes wikis and task management options. eXo also enables personalization, the creation of new spaces, and third-party integrations.
HumHub is a free intranet platform and framework created to give users the tools to simplify collaboration and communication between workers. HumHub is a self-hosted platform that works with shared environments and supports themes and modules so users can extend their installation as much as they want.
Bitrix24 is a social knowledge platform management and collaboration tool that is available for both on-premise or as a cloud service. Bitrix24 integrates communication and collaboration tools as well as activity stream, workgroups, and instant messaging. Bitrix is available for free to unlimited users.
Cyn.in is a collaboration software that connects workers with one another and enable knowledge sharing on a centralized platform. Cyn.in combines wikis with social networking, blogs, and file sharing repositories, all into a platform aimed at enterprise users.
TWiki is a PERL-based content platform that gives users a wiki-like platform that stores workplace documents. TWiki also enables users to share files seamlessly with one another both as metadata within the files or in the database. TWiki integrates with G-suite for a seamless collaboration in the office.
Plone is a collaborative intranet solution. Quaive gives users a consistent user experience across multiple platforms and supports extensive collaboration and social tools. Quaive aims at providing users with an application-based experience with a dashboard that integrates a file viewer and rich content management tools.
Integrating The Intranet Into Your Digital Workplace
Information isn’t static. It changes and mutates with every person, and while this is good for everyday life, it might not be so for a workplace. A modern intranet, especially an open source one, gives you the tools and the flexibility to connect departments and systems to make sure you always have a single source of truth in your company and that you can always know where the information originates from.
An intranet works as a designated communication and collaboration room for your company, something that brick and mortar offices simply don’t have. By adding an intranet to your digital workplace, you’re giving your employees a place where they can communicate productively and in one place, reducing the need for disparate software across the organization.
With a hybrid CMS like dotCMS, you gain a tool with which you can centralize your company-wide communications and enhance your workers’ productivity. Plus, companies can strengthen their business to employee experience and update content, marketing collateral, promotional materials for employees, and search for documents faster with an intranet.
With a modern intranet built on top of a hybrid CMS like dotCMS, IT teams don’t need to worry about updates and maintenance because we are a cloud-based platform. Also, being a cloud platform reduces the platform's latency, reducing the time it takes for content editors to add information to the platform.
If you want to learn more about how dotCMS can help you build a robust company portal and intranet, read our case study: TELUS: Revamping a Portal System with dotCMS