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By: Rachael Rubin on July 10th, 2020

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Pros and Cons of SharePoint 2020: Is SharePoint Worth it?

Managed IT Services | Managed IT Chicago | IT Support Chicago | Microsoft | Office 365

According to the 2019 State of the Digital Workplace, 80% of employees working in medium-sized and large organizations said their company has an intranet. If your organization’s rapid growth is creating file and data storage disorganization, it may be time to consider a web-based platform like Microsoft SharePoint.

Based in Chicago, Framework IT is a managed service provider (MSP). Framework is fully committed to equipping your company with the technology and solutions that will increase operational efficiency while keeping costs as low as possible. For over a decade we have been helping our customers maintain the organization of their valuable data and information.

Depending on your IT environment, SharePoint may or may not be right for your organization. This article will lay out the features, benefits, and drawbacks of SharePoint to allow you to understand if it’s the right solution for you.

How is SharePoint different?

Intranets are private networks used to organize and store a company's data. SharePoint provides a robust solution for file sharing among groups of individuals, internally and externally, and is more than just your average intranet. 

Microsoft SharePoint is the ultimate tool for seamless workplace collaboration. SharePoint keeps your data and resources in one customizable place – so your workforce can stay productive and focused on the main goal. 

Companies can integrate their SharePoint with applications such as workflow management, content management, and business intelligence. Customers are getting a secure space capable of providing the tools that range wide enough to cover multiple facets of teamwork. Because of its versatility, SharePoint is used by over 200,00 organizations and 190 million people worldwide.  

SharePoint provides the toolsets to help share and manage content, knowledge, and applications seamlessly across your organization.

 

The SharePoint Pros

 

Frictionless Integration with Microsoft 365 and other systems

As with most Microsoft Office 365 cloud products, SharePoint provides seamless integration with other Microsoft “Software as a Service (SaaS)” offerings like OneDrive, Teams, and others. 

Most organizations have already chosen to use at least one of the aforementioned software making the SharePoint features familiar to your employees. SharePoint licensing is included with even your most basic Office 365 packages, so chances are you may already have access. 

 

Encourages Collaboration

SharePoint was designed to focus on increasing employee participation. When used properly, SharePoint will become the central hub for employees to direct messages, video chat, schedule meetings, and other beneficial productivity tools.

When paired with Microsoft Office, employees can also employ a real-time dual editing functionality so everyone is up to date with every document. 

Documents saved within SharePoint can be quickly shared by generating custom links that you can share for instant access.

 

Data Security

Because SharePoint is in the Microsoft family, your data will be secured by advanced level protection. Microsoft’s official SharePoint blog states, "When data transits into the service from clients, and between data centers, it's protected using best-in-class encryption."

For extra protection, Microsoft also mentions that one of the most effective steps a business can take to safeguard their data is to enable two-factor authentication. This avoids passwords from being used without a second way of identifying the correct user. The second level of security when you log in can be authorized through a phone call, text message, or app.

 

Easily Customized To Fit Your Needs

Your SharePoint can be tailored to perfectly fit the needs of your company. If for some reason there is a function that SharePoint doesn’t provide, many third-party sites offer downloadable plug-ins, or they can be created internally. 

Some examples of customizing a SharePoint Server are: 

 

  • Add branding elements like colors, graphics, and footers. This will not only add visual interest but help users tell the difference between different SharePoint sites. 
  • Easily create automated workflows using Power Automate.  A workflow automates manual work that is oftentimes tedious like data entry. Power Automate will configure and perform all workflows within your site. Automated workflows will save you time, increase productivity, and save you money, among other things. 
  • Customize a SharePoint form using Power Apps. Power Apps is used to build custom forms for your uniquely individual site. 

 There are endless possibilities when it comes to the customization and integration of an organization's SharePoint. 

 

The SharePoint Cons

 

The Migration is Very Involved

Proper setup of SharePoint can become quite complicated, so you must have the right team to put it in place to avoid long-term performance problems.

According to the 2019 State of the Market: Microsoft SharePoint report, it took 32% of users six months to one year to fully integrate and develop their site to their liking.  

One Reddit user shared, "SharePoint really needs to be implemented correctly from the beginning, and then administered very well from then on. IF that is true, then it's a very stable and powerful tool." He goes on to say, "The bad stories from SharePoint come from those who either don't implement and plan it well or don't know how to properly maintain it." 

If not implemented properly, your business may experience obstacles that could have otherwise been avoided.

 

It Can Be Complicated

With dozens of options for customization, it comes as no surprise that many find the program difficult to manage. 

The 2019 State of the Market: Microsoft SharePoint report again cited that "two thirds (66%) of those who had cited dissatisfaction, the primary issue was that the Microsoft collaboration product was “hard to use.”

Sharepoint was intended to be customized from the ground up which means that that it requires specialized knowledge to generate and control it properly. This involves hiring SharePoint developers and that can be costly. 

 

Training is Almost Unavoidable

With that being said, Microsoft recommends that companies provide internal training so any intricate deployment of SharePoint doesn’t have an adverse effect and cripple the productivity of your team.

Training covers lessons such as how to work with lists, how to control the display of content, and how to add page elements. If external education isn't an option, there is also in-person end-user training available.

If you have the opportunity, time, and resources to send your staff to SharePoint training classes that is optimal.

 

It Can Be Expensive

There are three SharePoint models: on-premise, subscription, and hybrid.

Depending on your level of customization, your total SharePoint package could cost thousands once you’ve bought the software and implemented all the necessary hardware requirements and paid the training consultants. 

 

Is SharePoint Right For You?

SharePoint will be most beneficial to those looking for an extremely customizable solution to their intranet. 

The goal should be for the intranet to form a partnership with your business, and SharePoint may not be best for every organization and one should consider the experience level of the common user when choosing between intranet providers.  

If you’re looking to integrate SharePoint or similar SaaS to your current IT environment, Framework IT has over a decade of experience. We will listen to your organization's individual needs to develop a personalized intranet integration plan. 

During this process, Sales, vCIO, and pre-sales engineering teams will collaborate to determine if SharePoint specifically would provide more value to your business. We are dedicated to properly vetting options before presenting them as a recommended solution.