Are you looking for a system that will let your employees collaborate, communicate, and be more productive?
If you are, you know that the right tool will help your company get ahead. And you know that the wrong tool will be a huge drain on your time and money.
SharePoint is often the first choice for a versatile document management and collaboration system. But is it a good choice? Or will it cost your company in the long run?There are certainly benefits to using Microsoft’s system. But SharePoint’s disadvantages are notable, too.
We’ll break down the pros and cons of SharePoint so you can make the right decision.
Why Use SharePoint? 5 Advantages
Despite its less-than-stellar reputation, SharePoint has some things going for it. There’s a reason that it’s such a popular solution for creating corporate intranets and collaboration sites.
(Though companies are quickly abandoning the idea of intranets—that’s another discussion.)
Integration with Microsoft Office
This is one of the most important SharePoint benefits. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint run much of the business world. And because SharePoint is part of Microsoft Office, it integrates perfectly with them.
That saves a lot of time when collaborating on projects. It also means you can set up time-saving automations not just within Office 365, but with other apps, too. You can also use it as a solid email tool, which is one of the advantages of SharePoint online over the on-premises version.
No matter what you want your SharePoint system to do, you can almost certainly do it. (Whether you can do it well is another question, and we’ll get to that shortly.)
SharePoint is a platform, not a product. That means you can build all sorts of things on top of it. Some functionality is built into the basic form of the platform, but the most successful SharePoint systems have a lot of custom development behind them.
Your company’s version of SharePoint can be tailored to meet your needs perfectly—if you have (or can hire) the expertise to make it happen.
Possibly the most useful thing that SharePoint does it keep a ton of files in a central location. As long as your organizational structure is sound, it shouldn’t take too long for anyone to find anything they’re looking for.
Of course, that’s dependent on you and your habits. But if you’re disciplined about how you and your team use SharePoint, it works well as a central storage system.
Detailed Document Management
SharePoint works for all sorts of tasks, but document management is its greatest strength. Here’s a sample of the things you can do:
- Check out documents, see who’s worked on them, and track changes across collaborators
- Manage document security and permissions
- Search vast document libraries to find what you’re looking for (though poor search is one of the disadvantages of SharePoint)
- Go paperless with scanning and capture tools
- Enter and manage document metadata
Those features are a big help to companies that manage large numbers of documents. If you need to keep track of who’s doing what with which documents (and when they’re doing it), SharePoint is a solid solution.
If you’re in an industry where your documentation needs to be compliant, you can set up SharePoint to do that, too.
Build Multiple Layers of Sites
Because SharePoint is a platform, you can use it to create all sorts of resources for your teams. You might have a company-wide intranet alongside smaller systems that help individual departments or teams stay organized.
With enough licenses, you can create layers of sites and systems that keep information siloed. That way it doesn’t clutter up everyone’s storage space.
Utilize an LMS to navigate learning and communications and retain engagement.