2022 marks the 22nd anniversary of SharePoint. Since 2001 the platform has become the robust product, it is today. Stats tell the tale; In 2020, it earmarked over 200 million users. The platform has remodeled content and document management. Upon its release in 2001, it provided a solution to many different problems businesses faced. It took the pain out of knowing about document management and the processes to work with cross-platform systems. Companies realized SharePoint could save on ECM (Enterprise Content Management) expenditures and increase their efficiency by unprecedented amounts.
It's tough to imagine a world without SharePoint. Today they exist simultaneously, and it's not going to change anytime soon. Unfortunately, even today, most companies are still dealing with content and document management and do not view SharePoint as a universal platform for conducting business. However, Microsoft is focusing heavily on their cloud-based solution for Office-365, which has a lot of overlap with SharePoint on-premises. Mistakenly, this causes even more confusion.
So, what are some of the best ways to use SharePoint?
In 2016, AIIM researched SharePoint and found that over half of the participants viewed SharePoint as a challenge. 300 CEOs of German companies participated in a survey about SharePoint. The results were precise that over 50% thought the usability of SharePoint was beneficial to highly beneficial. Even though there are two different sets of statistics, work needs to continue.
As SharePoint evolves, Microsoft improves the platform by introducing regular new versions and updates. Users also have a lot of customization options and the ability to make life easier with add-ons. -suggests that, despite the apparent struggles with usability, SharePoint is still a significant player in the industry.
Just a humble opinion, the base of the problem often comes from the expectations around SharePoint combined with the implementation strategy and the approach. Having a change of mindset and the process of SharePoint is often the first step to making your SharePoint experience a success.
What to expect from SharePoint and approach
SHAREPOINT SHOULD BE DEPLOYED COMPANY-WIDE, NOT BY A SPECIFIC DEPARTMENT.
The two considerations are so far from the truth. Take, for instance, one of the most common mistakes, viewing SharePoint solely from an IT or communication perspective. Dispel IT only out of the equation. Consider SharePoint a business platform for the entire company, not just specific departments. Ownership is by the business and thought leaders should clearly understand the value SharePoint can add; if thought leadership implements SharePoint in the company strategy, the chances of success increase substantially. The idea alone will free up a larger budget for deployment, implementation, and training of employees. -giving you the space and time, an organization needs to implement SharePoint properly and accurately.
SHAREPOINT CAN REPLACE EXISTING APPLICATIONS.
One of the most significant misunderstandings -SharePoint is a stand-alone application. Think about this for a second. SharePoint is a platform that can replace existing applications and integrate them into its functionality. The standard usability of SharePoint allows you to replace the use of many existing applications.
Build the platform. The absolute certainty is to figure out the current business processes and which applications support them. The truth, SharePoint will likely replace a lot of the applications. However, some won't be replaceable, and in this case, some custom development or third-party technology could still integrate and information-output this application into the SharePoint platform. As I mentioned above, the management should realize this, and they should see the need for developing custom solutions. The business entity and processes should play a central role in the decision-making around SharePoint implementations and linking SharePoint with existing applications. Always build the platform around the business processes, and you will find you get the most value from SharePoint. Look at your optimal process workflows, and you will find it will yield optimal long-term results and efficiency.
IF DATA IS THE NEW REVENUE, SHOULDN'T SHAREPOINT BE BUILT AROUND INFORMATION?
Data Federation is an Information Governance Framework built around all data. So, the metadata collected from documentation, including records, files, and documents, should be defined per your data management policy. SharePoint is about Data, and the platform should meet the requirements of your Information Governance. It helps to have a clear IG policy because it helps in the long term and building the SharePoint solution around the IG policy will positively affect usability. Still, as the number of files grows, the SharePoint Platform becomes the center of the organization and processes.
Usability depends on training.
Usability around the SharePoint platform can either smooth out a process or gather complaints. Usually, when users complain about the usability of the SharePoint Platform, it comes down to the lack of training. Providing the proper training to the right users becomes very important. An excellent reputable development company like Chiron will set up sessions about content and record management topics. Also, I might add to get the users involved early and actively engaged in the development process of the SharePoint engagement. Design is a big part of the SharePoint usability design. It should be friendly, but users should want to use the platform; by doing so, you create a culture where user adoption becomes part of the SharePoint implementation.
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