We’re all the way in the full-swing of a new year, which means your business is likely looking forward, strategizing, and perhaps considering new software and technologies that will keep you competitive. The goals of most businesses right now in the general sense are boosting communication, collaboration, and transparency.
When these things are happening, business is poised for innovation.
One new set of technologies that you might want to implement is SharePoint. SharePoint integrates with Office 365, includes document management capabilities, and there are also third-party SharePoint apps that can make this platform even more valuable to your organization.
The following are some things to think about as far as whether your business might benefit from the use of SharePoint.
What is SharePoint?
If you use Office 365 in your business, you have access to SharePoint. There’s also OneDrive for business, and the two platforms are similar but not exactly the same. OneDrive for Business is a personal cloud storage option, and SharePoint, on the other hand, is for sharing documents among members of a team.
SharePoint can be used for the creation of websites, and it’s a place where businesses and team members can store and access information and documents from any device. All that’s needed to access what’s stored in SharePoint is internet access.
There are also different SharePoint products.
One is SharePoint Online. This is a cloud-based service hosted by Microsoft that’s useful for businesses of all sizes. You subscribe, and then employees can create sites where they share documents and information.
There’s also a product called SharePoint Server. With SharePoint Server, organizations can manage the Server on-premises or with an Office 365 Enterprise subscription. You can create modern site pages, and there are features for lists and libraries, as well as search features plus it integrates with different apps.
SharePoint Designer is a free program to build workflow solutions, and there’s OneDrive for Business Sync, which allows users to sync documents from a team site to use them offline.
Ultimately, the goal of SharePoint is to help team members come together on project communications. If you’re a dispersed team, it can be especially useful.
Would SharePoint Be Useful for a Small Business?
You might be able to see how SharePoint could be valuable for enterprise-level organizations, but what about its usefulness for small businesses?
One benefit, particularly of SharePoint Online, is that it’s a monthly subscription so you can scale up or down as you need.
Then, your employees can upload documents, and multiple people can work on them at one time without version control issues.
You can also create an internal website that’s geared toward a particular project or client, and everything regarding that is stored in one place.
There are tools like social network features, and it could theoretically be a good-way to speed-up communication and collaboration even in a small business, and particularly if anyone on your team travels often or works remotely.
Many small businesses also use Microsoft Office, so having it integrate with that is a perk.
Even so, there are downsides—namely, SharePoint might have too many features for your small business, and it could bog your employees down. That can lead to frustration and a lack of adoption.
The Benefits of SharePoint for Bigger Organizations
As a bigger organization, there are a lot of pros that can come from the use of SharePoint.
One great thing is the consistency in the user experience it offers. It feels familiar to users, and there’s not going to be a big period where employees have to get used to interacting with SharePoint or its interface for the most part.
It also simplifies the things most enterprise employees are doing on a daily basis, including document review and signature collection.
You can set up an intranet to share company information, and this is a place where employees, no matter where they are in the country or world can go to see the latest news and any upcoming tasks. It can be customized by department too.
Finally, SharePoint Online gives you visibility over business operations. This powers decision-making at the enterprise-level, where it can otherwise be challenging to have this kind of visibility.
You can see files and whatever else you need quickly. You can also start to look at how different teams and departments are interacting with one another, and where there is room for improvement in their collaborative efforts.
There are also a number of apps that are available to integrate with SharePoint so you can do things like creating specialized department portals and mini CRM applications.