Now more than 20 years old, SharePoint has established itself as a core component in the Microsoft Office 365 program. But to get the most out of this tool and the environments it creates, you need to learn how to avoid the most common SharePoint problems when it comes to the platform’s integration and implementation.
Arnet Technologies has more than a decade of experience solving the IT issues facing businesses today. We’ve worked with SharePoint environments for nearly as long as the platform has been on the market. Today, we’re going through some of the common SharePoint problems that organizations run into when trying to get more out of this key collaboration tool.
What is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that is included with and integrates natively with Microsoft 365. Launched in 2001, SharePoint is primarily marketed as a document management and storage system, but its exact usage will vary from company to company. While organizations use SharePoint to create websites, it is also highly configurable. In broad terms, it’s a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from virtually any device. All you need is a web browser and nearly any popular browser will suffice, from Microsoft Edge to Google Chrome and even IOS options like Safari.
SharePoint Offers Many Uses, Benefits
As an information-sharing tool, SharePoint gives you control over how to disseminate materials to internal team members, external vendors, or customer partners. You can control the editing and contributing process, and who has access. You can set up information portals, and assign and track tasks. In short, it empowers businesses to share information across a broad array of types and for many different tasks.
- Store and share files
- Find documents grouped by a specific tag
- Manage permissions
- Build internal websites
- Managed news, blogs, images, and videos
- Track changes
- Store best practices
- Run polls and surveys
- Share ideas and tips on a virtual bulletin board
- Share project information
- Track weekly tasks and activities
- Collaborate via wikis
Reap the Benefits of SharePoint Integration
The advantages of using SharePoint to its fullest potential can be broken down into four different buckets.
Cost Savings — It’s included in most Microsoft 365 Business Licenses so there are no additional costs to using SharePoint for document storage. It can replace other services (i.e. Dropbox) being used.
Data Security — Built on the foundation of Microsoft 365 security, SharePoint provides a secure environment for storing data, even sensitive data. Government agencies and large corporations trust SharePoint to store their data due to the inherent security present.
Collaboration — It provides a flexible and scalable platform to allow collaboration between both internal and external users.
Increased Productivity — It allows users to search and access documents quickly and easily based on their user access rights, saving them time. It enhances collaboration which reduces time spent waiting for feedback or edits.
4 SharePoint Problems and How to Avoid Them
While an important and powerful tool for business information management and organization, SharePoint can be difficult to navigate for those new or inexperienced in its integration. Here are four common pain points organizations experience when looking to make SharePoint a bigger part of their IT infrastructure.
Ignoring Expert Assistance
SharePoint is nearly infinitely customizable, which allows organizations to do a lot with it. But if you don’t have a firm grasp of the working knowledge needed to understand all of its capabilities, it can be challenging and overwhelming to decipher. Tapping into certified experts smooths out the onboarding and implementation process and sets the project solidly on the path to success. Investing in a managed IT provider gets you insight into best practices and removes many of the potential pitfalls.
Going In Without a Plan
It’s essential to spend time planning how your organization will use SharePoint. Which capabilities are essential to your plans? Who needs to have access to which team sites? What elements, docs, or components need to be positioned on the platform? Without plotting out key points like these, your organization won’t be positioned to take full advantage of the platform or may find it difficult to use.
Failing to Involve Key Stakeholders
It’s not a good idea to simply implement SharePoint and then start dumping data into it. You need to involve the teams and people who will be using the data it contains. For instance, the HR department may require specific files related to onboarding and offboarding to be easily accessible, but personnel files to be more securely ‘locked’ away. Tap into those who will be using the data; they’ll have good ideas about how it should be organized. It will not only help the implementation be more successful but it also gets buy-in as they’ll take ownership of the process and how it’s created and built.
Over-Complicating the Process
At the start, keep it simple. Don’t try to do everything — upload all your data — at once. Start with an individual team or department. Iron out the process for setting up SharePoint for that group, test it out, organize it the way that they want, and continue to work with them to get it into an ideal state. Then, repeat the process — with everything you’ve learned — with other departments.
Address Your SharePoint Problems with Arnet Technologies
Arnet Technologies has the expertise, experience, and dedication to high-touch customer service to remove your technology headaches with a suite of holistic, managed IT solutions. We help you create specific and tailored solutions and all of our managed IT support includes critical value-adding factors, such as:
- US-based support technicians
- Unlimited remote helpdesk and onsite support
- 90-day performance guarantee for all SLAs
- Automated OS updates & maintenance
- Security patching
- Remote monitoring and access
Our IT consulting services include everything you need to get the most out of SharePoint, integrate it more fully, or migrate more of your data into the platform.