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Intranet CMS: which one to choose?


Discover a complete overview of intranet CMS, explore the key selection criteria and benefit from a detailed comparison!


Intranet CMS: which one to choose?

An effective intranet, used by all company employees, has many advantages. It enables important information to be disseminated quickly, and highlights the actions of certain teams or employees. It fosters collaboration and communication for greater efficiency in the workplace. In short, the intranet is an essential component in the implementation of a fluid, unifying internal communications strategy. Which tool should you choose to create the best possible intranet? Here are some answers.


Intranet CMS overview


Managing and disseminating internal news, information and knowledge has become a major challenge, particularly since the Covid crisis and the massive wave of teleworking that accompanied the pandemic.


Nowadays, it’s impossible to do without digital tools that are available, secure and truly at the service of employees. The intranet has become an essential component of every organization’s information system, and the CMS on which it is based with it.


The different types of intranet CMS


There are several types of CMS (content management systems) specially designed for this purpose. Intranet CMS can be classified as follows:


  • open-source CMS,
  • commercial or proprietary CMS,
  • and specialized CMS.


Open-source CMS offer great flexibility and extensive customization thanks to their vast libraries of modules and plugins.


Commercial CMS, such as Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Connections, are generally more expensive, but provide integrated functionality and professional support.


Specialized CMS, such as Confluence (Atlassian) and Igloo, are specifically designed for intranets and offer functionalities focused on collaboration and knowledge management. Each type of intranet CMS has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the organization’s needs and resources.


Why use a CMS for your intranet?


Using a CMS for an intranet has several advantages over creating a customized intranet from scratch. Firstly, it facilitates content creation and management, enabling non-technical users to contribute to and maintain the website without the need for programming skills.


Secondly, a CMS usually offers ready-to-use plugins for collaboration, communication and knowledge management, reducing technical time and costs.


Finally, a CMS offers a scalable, modular infrastructure, enabling the intranet to adapt to the changing needs of the organization and integrate easily with other systems and applications.


Good reasons to choose CMS for your intranet


A CMS provides key functionality for an intranet, such as real-time collaboration, discussion forums, shared calendars and document management.


Secondly, a CMS offers a modular, scalable platform that can adapt to the changing needs of the organization, making it easy to add or remove options and customize the user interface.


Finally, a CMS enables the integration of other applications and services, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing automation platforms and project management tools, improving the overall efficiency of the intranet.



Criteria for choosing a CMS for an intranet

Intranet functionalities


Before choosing a CMS for your intranet, identify your company’s needs in terms of communication, knowledge management and integration with other systems.


Make sure that the CMS you choose offers appropriate functionalities, such as discussion forums, shared calendars, document management and validation workflows.


Customization and flexibility


The ability to customize and adapt the CMS to your needs is crucial to an effective intranet solution. Look for a CMS that offers a modular architecture and a wide variety of plugins or extensions to extend its capabilities.


Make sure, too, that the CMS allows you to customize the user interface to create an optimal experience tailored to your company and your employees.


The cost of the solution


Evaluating the costs associated with CMS deployment and maintenance is essential. Consider license fees, technical costs, hosting fees and long-term maintenance costs.


Open-source CMS may have lower initial costs, but require greater investment in development and customization.


Support and community


The level of support and the quality of the community are important factors to consider. A CMS with an active community and comprehensive documentation will facilitate deployment and problem resolution.


Also look for professional support options, such as helpdesk and training services, to ensure successful implementation and ongoing support.




Protecting your company’s sensitive data is paramount. Evaluate CMS features such as two-factor authentication, data encryption and regular updates to resolve vulnerabilities.


Make sure the CMS complies with industry standards and regulations, as well as local data protection regulations.



Intranet CMS


Comparison of CMS according to criteria


Drupal is a highly flexible and modular open-source CMS, offering a wide range of modules to extend its possibilities. SharePoint, meanwhile, is a commercial CMS integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem, offering key functionalities and native integration with the brand’s products. Jive is a specialized CMS designed for social uses, offering specific tools to encourage collaborators to work together and facilitate knowledge exchange.


In terms of customization and flexibility, Drupal offers a modular architecture and a high degree of customizability thanks to its active community. SharePoint is less flexible than Drupal. It offers limited customization and ready-to-use templates. Jive is less customizable.


Costs vary between these CMS. As Drupal is open-source, there are no license fees, but development and maintenance costs can be significant. SharePoint requires a license fee, and may incur additional costs for support services and training. Jive offers a subscription model, which can make the cost more predictable.


In terms of support and community, Drupal benefits from an active community and abundant documentation. SharePoint has excellent support, but its documentation and community are less accessible. Jive offers dedicated support, but has a smaller community.


Finally, when it comes to security, both Drupal and SharePoint offer solid options and regular updates. Jive, as a hosted solution, manages this issue at provider level, which can simplify its use.


Drupal for the intranet


Tool presentation


Drupal is a powerful and flexible CMS, widely used to create and manage corporate intranets. Thanks to its wide range of modules and active community, it can be used to build customized projects to meet the specific needs of each company.


It offers modular architecture and extensive customization, facilitating integration with other systems and scalability to meet changing business needs.


Advantages and disadvantages


Its main assets are its flexibility, its extensive customizability and its active community, which contributes to the creation of modules and the continuous improvement of the platform. In addition, Drupal offers strong user management, collaboration and knowledge management capabilities.


However, this CMS has a higher learning curve and may require technical skills to take full advantage of its possibilities. In addition, hosting and maintenance costs can mount up, particularly for organizations with limited resources.


Use cases


Drupal is ideal for intranets requiring extensive customization, integration with other systems and scalability to adapt to changing business needs.


Organizations looking above all for customization with advanced functions, personalized workflows and complex integrations will benefit from its flexibility.


What’s more, Drupal is particularly well-suited to multilingual and multi-site operations, thanks to its native support for multiple languages and the management of multiple sites within a single installation.


Our opinion

Drupal is an excellent option for organizations with technical resources looking to create a personalized, scalable intranet. It is particularly suited to structures with specific and complex needs.


However, it may be less suitable for organizations with simpler needs and limited resources, as it requires an investment in time and skills to be fully exploited. Note that it is possible to call on the expertise of an agency that already has the necessary experience for this deployment.


The cost

Although Drupal is open-source and requires no license fees, technical, hosting and maintenance costs can add up. Initial set-up costs may be lower than those of a commercial CMS, but long-term costs, including the development of custom options, maintenance and upgrades must be taken into account.




Microsoft SharePoint for intranet


Tool presentation


This tool is a widely used and adopted enterprise collaboration and content management platform. SharePoint is integrated into the firm’s ecosystem of the same name, and therefore offers a unified journey and native integration with products such as Office 365, Teams and Power BI. The platform enables the creation of collaborative sites, portals and workspaces.


Advantages and disadvantages


SharePoint’s strengths include its tight integration with the Microsoft ecosystem, its support for enterprise functionality and its ability to efficiently manage documents and workflows.


Customers of products in the range benefit from a reduced learning curve, which can reduce tool integration time and change management. However, SharePoint is less flexible than some open-source CMS and can be more expensive due to licensing and infrastructure costs.


Use case


SharePoint is ideal for organizations looking for tight integration with the range’s products. Those looking to leverage their investment in this ecosystem and simplify IT resource management can benefit from using SharePoint.


Our opinion


Microsoft SharePoint is an excellent option for organizations looking for a well-integrated, proven product. However, organizations with very specific needs, or wishing greater flexibility to customize their intranet, may find SharePoint less suitable than other options such as Drupal.


The cost


Cost depends on the version chosen (on-premise or online) and licensing plans. SharePoint Online is available as part of Office 365 subscriptions, with monthly costs per user. SharePoint Server, the on-premise version, requires an initial license fee and additional infrastructure costs for hosting and maintenance.




Jive for the intranet


Tool presentation


Jive is a social collaboration platform designed specifically to meet these needs. It aims to improve communication and information management within organizations by offering advanced features for creating virtual workspaces, discussion forums, blogs and internal social networks. Jive offers a hosted solution, simplifying infrastructure management and maintenance for organizations.


Advantages and disadvantages


Jive is easy to use and has excellent integration capabilities with other tools. Jive is designed to encourage employee engagement and facilitate the circulation of knowledge.


However, Jive is less customizable than Drupal and can be more expensive due to its subscription model. What’s more, it may not meet all the specific needs of an intranet, particularly when it comes to content management and workflow implementation.


Use case


Jive is ideal for organizations that value social collaboration, communication and knowledge management. It enables them to create an engaging intranet for their employees and facilitate interactions.


Our opinion


Jive is an excellent option for organizations looking for an intranet focused on social collaboration and communication. However, for companies with more complex content management and personalization needs, others such as Drupal or SharePoint may be more suitable.


The cost


The cost of Jive is based on a subscription model, with monthly or annual fees depending on the number of users and options chosen. Organizations need to weigh these costs against their needs, resources and long-term objectives to determine whether Jive is more cost-effective for their intranet.




Making the right decision for your teams


The choice of CMS for your internal communication tools must obviously be based on the specific needs of your customers (i.e. your employees), taking into account your organization’s overall communication strategy. It’s important to be precise when drawing up your specifications:


  • Do you want a rather “top-down” tool where everyone receives news and new training courses without necessarily getting involved?
  • Or do you want to create a more collaborative dimension, for example, so that everyone can create a page and disseminate their own knowledge or best practices?
  • Or do you want to create a form of adhesion within your teams, in which case more advanced discussion and exchange tools will be necessary?

In short, the mistake would be to use the possibilities offered by the various tools as a basis for deducing your strategy. To help you audit these different solutions, it is advisable to enlist the support of experts who will give you the benefit of their experience and help you draw up the specifications that will form the cornerstone of your project.