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Intranets are the workhorses of internal communications.

Since their introduction in the mid-’90s, intranets have been used for corporate communications, collaboration, file sharing and knowledge management. But with premium solutions from the likes of Microsoft and IBM requiring hefty financial investment, free and open source intranet solutions are a very real option for enterprises.

But before we explore those free intranet solutions, let’s clear up a misconception.

Free and Open Source Software Comes at a Cost

When it comes to acquiring software, an enterprise has two broad options: buy or build.

Buying may come in the form of a large up-front payment for turn-key on-premises solution, or through monthly fees for a SaaS product. But when it comes to building a solution, an enterprise will often seek out open source software to use as a foundation. This is often seen as the most cost effective solution — but is it?

Building upon an existing open source product sounds like a smart way to bypass heavy up-front investment or ongoing fees — but the reality is, free software is never truly free.

All that building takes up the time and resources of in-house developers, while the money needed to hire a digital agency to smooth over the process often runs just as high. After deployment, you will those same in-house teams or contractors on hand to handle ongoing maintenance and feature upgrades, incurring yet more cost.

Read more about this here.