Four reasons you might just want your wiki behind the firewall


format-c-computer-screen-message.gifHosted software, cloud computing, SaaS. They get so much press you’d think that no one installs software on their private network anymore.

The reality, of course, is that behind-the-firewall software is a much, much larger portion of the market than SaaS — maybe 1000 times larger. It’s just not growing as fast.

ThoughtFarmer, as a web 2.0 wiki social software solution, is contrarian. Unlike most solutions in this space, we install behind the firewall. Why? Four reasons:

Speed. Applications on your network travel at full throttle. They’re not affected by internet congestion. And because they’re dedicated to you, they’re not affected by what the vendor’s other customers are doing.

Stability. When the software is on your servers, you don’t have to upgrade if you don’t want to. And there are never any surprise changes.

Security. Do you trust some 23-year-old in Palo Alto with your data? Me neither. I mean, he can have my email address and Flickr photos, but not my trade secrets. Behind the firewall is the safest place for your intellectual capital to live.

Single Sign-On. Software on your private network can integrate with your Windows log on. You get a secure, personalized view without ever entering a password.

(Hmm… they all start with an S.)

The main disadvantage? Software behind the firewall is usually more expensive. It takes more manpower to maintain the servers and to install and upgrade the application. But for most companies with more than a few dozen employees, the peace of mind is worth it.


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  1. Kevin Teague

    I suppose Saas is getting lots of press in certain medias and circles, but I know many people in IT who have never heard of SaaS and find the concept “scary”.

    Speed and Stablity are good considerations for hosting your own applications. Especially in the knowledge space where people are often shuffling around oversized Office documents. Security is really going to be dependant upon the organization – many internal networks really aren’t that secure, management just likes to believe that they are.

    Hopefully Single Sign-On will become less relevant with the adoption of OpenId (or whatever wins the whole Identity 2.0 thing). It should be possible to have a SaaS app authenticate a person’s identity, and then have it synchronize against your organizations access control declarations, but we’re still a few years larger adoption of that kind of thing I imagine.

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