Every small company aspires to become big one day. And, then a point come where as-you-go file management doesn’t work anymore. Yes, as soon as a company will start growing, documents will start to miss out, and even edits will be lost as email attachments.
We agree that document sharing on external and third-party platforms could be easier, but it’s not truly secure and also may leave you open to GDPR issues.
So, if you’re not sure where to go next when your business is outgrowing your current system, then Microsoft SharePoint may be the right solution you’re looking.
Let’s understand what is MS SharePoint, the benefits of using the system, and what can it do for your business.
A Brief Introduction to Microsoft SharePoint
In simple words, SharePoint is a product by Microsoft, which functions as a customizable and flexible data storage as well as a retrieval option for businesses. Moreover, it operates as an intranet, whereby a team can upload and access data, files, and other content.
Additionally, it allows management to create news feeds for sharing company-wide information or customizing portals for each department. Also, rather than folder-based document management systems, much of the content is shareable with other employees, which are also accessible through URLs. There are several ways to use SharePoint that makes it a fantastic addition to many small businesses.
Moreover, SharePoint Online, which comes in many Microsoft 365 license packages, is the most commonly used iteration of the program. As its best feature, it enables up to 1TB of storage for data to be collected securely in the cloud.
Apart from that, businesses that prefer to host their data on servers provided by local IT companies or onsite. For them also, SharePoint Server is available. Well, this web-based collaborative platform is incredibly versatile and popular too.
According to Microsoft and some surveys, around 85% of Fortune 500 companies have this software, and with over 10 million SharePoint sites being generated, near about 250 000 organizations are using it.
The thing that makes the program adaptable to almost any size business is only and only its flexibility. It is not only for bigger companies, but it’s practical and widely available for small businesses as well.
By using the self-contained SharePoint environment, one can also solve Common data management issues, data security concerns, and internal messaging.
How Can Microsoft SharePoint Help Your Organization?
The most important reason why more and more companies are using Microsoft Sharepoint is that it's a web-based collaborative platform. That means one can access it from anywhere.
Apart from, that one more major perk of using Microsoft Sharepoint is its usage benefits from everything that comes with Microsoft Suite. But then the question arises, is that all? Are these the only reasons why so many companies are using it? But the answer is NO!
So, here we are with key ways in which Microsoft SharePoint can help your organization to thrive and prosper in today’s competitive age.
1. Offers a Consistent & Streamlined User Experience
As SharePoint belongs to Microsoft, it is closely integrated with the common Microsoft applications that your employees use every day, such as Excel and Word, amongst others. And, this explains how users interact with information and streamline processes like signature collection, document review and approval, reporting, and issue tracking.
Also, your business needs an account to use it as SharePoint is part of Office 365. It implies that any Microsoft applications and software you already have or add to your package along with your Office 365 account, such as Microsoft Office, will deliver a consistent experience across the company as all your team will work on a single and latest version of Microsoft products.
2. Promotes Employee Mobility & Remote Access
This is one of the greatest features of SharePoint as employees increasingly require instant access to critical business applications, at any time, & from any location, organizations started to embrace mobility, remote access, and bring-your-own-device drives.
And, this is what Sharepoint is doing. Yes, by using SharePoint Mobile and SharePoint Online, one can use their devices to access company data from anywhere in the world.
Not only that, but one can also collaborate with colleagues even when they are not in the office. It simply means that one can open, edit as well as review the documents any time or on any device that is convenient for them.
3. Makes it Easy to Gather Critical Business Information
One can use the information more efficiently by using Sharepoint. And, the reason behind it is its smart electronic forms that let us collect data from partners, customers, and suppliers through a simple browser interface.
The collected data is consistent and accurate or not is ensured by the integrated validation rules, and the risk of manual data-entry errors are eliminated by the direct interface along with back-end systems.
Expense reports or event registrations are examples of forms in SharePoint. The forms are customizable and also vary in range, from being simple to being complex. Simple forms can collect basic information/data the business needs, while complex forms can take an essential part in large business processes.
4. Helps Employees Make Informed Decisions
The interactive business intelligence portals of SharePoint gather mission-critical data from disparate sources, and further display the information in a user-friendly as well as convenient format, such as dashboards and graphs, which later employees use to help make better-informed business decisions.
Moreover, users can efficiently build personalized views, as well as creating & submitting their content for approval.
5. Encourages Collaboration
Another important feature is the way it encourages collaboration. Yes, it allows the entire staff to connect effectively with each other through a central portal. Well, this feature is extremely profitable for organizations with remote geographical sites.
There was a time when isolated branches may have been cut off from the rest of the business, but by fostering a culture of collaboration and creativity, SharePoint brings everyone together to interact at all times.
Whether one uses it as a document management solution or an intranet portal, it offers a common space to stimulate discussions through forums and discussion boards by making a company’s goals and metrics visible to all employees.
6. Helps One to Fulfill Regulatory Requirements
By reducing the risk of litigation to their business, one can ensure that sensitive corporate data is controlled effectively, especially by establishing security, storage, and audit policies in line with compliance regulations.
Similarly, through the ability to protect files from unauthorized use, SharePoint also delivers peace of mind. Yes, both at the folder or document level, employee permissions can be controlled, and it can also encrypt the cloud-hosted data to prevent unapproved access.
7. Makes it Fast to Discover Content
Imagine the times when you need to see the documents even before your co-workers know you need to see them. And, Sharepoint made that happen. SharePoint Intranet has a few ways to make it come true.
The first way is your document portal in which machine learning technology recognizes the content most appropriate to you. Apart from that, the other way is via deliberate content targeting by the authors of the content where one has the option to publish news stories to audiences of your choice — locations, departments, positions, or groups. The final way is, through advanced search that enables you to locate what you are looking for and that too quickly.
Staff can customize and create pages as needed. It’s planned to be edited by end-users, so the team feels like they have authority over their digital working environment.
Not only that, but they can also create, edit, or change their projects in a way that makes sense to them. The pages are all: what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) in nature.
That means it is not important to know the code to design the web pages. They operate much like a blank word processing doc. Must say, it’s one great way to manage information and workflows.
9. Security Customization
Undoubtedly, the security of data is one most important factor for any business. And that is what IT departments love SharePoint the most because by using Sharepoint, it is easy to draw secure boundaries around levels of content.
However, there is limited access to information based on roles and requirement still it’s possible to store all company information within the intranet.
Moreover, the information is not visible to regular internet users as it is stored within the intranet requires credentials to access and is not even searchable. And the best part is, these security levels can be changed as the needs of the business change even after being defined during setup.
10. Recordkeeping and Security Protocols
As we know, businesses are required to actively manage their retained data since data protection regulations get stricter across the globe. And, as one of its best features, SharePoint can be manipulated to manage personal data very efficiently as well as securely.
For example, one can also store the records with expiration dates. But make sure you are well aware of your legal obligations around data transmission & storage, and also take care of the way SharePoint will manage the data by default in place of specific programming.
11. External Users Can Input Data Securely
When it comes to the intranet, one can create certain pages within for external-facing purposes. Moreover, without gaining any access (or even awareness of) the intranet and the data within, on-site contractors can complete orientation training, and interviewees can complete online applications. And, to keep the information secure, these pages can require credentials.
One example where this type of outward-facing interface can be very useful is to HRs, especially when they need to onboard new employees that don’t yet have full access to the intranet.
Another advantage it provides is the information that is input can be made available to the relevant teams, even in a very secure way, which also doesn’t have to compromise privacy or security concerns.
So, we have seen various ways that show how Microsoft SharePoint is a powerful platform that delivers countless benefits to your business.
Hence, adapt it to your business as well and reach the heights of success!