The events of the past few years have forced a reckoning within many organisations. The sudden transition to flexible working, including temporary and permanent periods of remote working, have drastically changed the way many businesses communicate and operate. Yet the rapid nature of this shift has led to piecemeal implementation in many places, with the sense that new processes for working and sharing files are not as efficient as they could be.
Of the many solutions for working remotely and between different offices, Microsoft SharePoint is among the oldest and most trusted. Employed by some 190 million users across more than 200,000 organisations, SharePoint is a critical part of the digital business landscape, and offers a unique degree of flexibility and depth. Here are six signs that your business needs Microsoft SharePoint, and the myriad ways it can improve your output.
You’ve got too many files to manage
As businesses grow, file management becomes more difficult – and more important. Without the right processes in place, files can be stored, shared and edited in an ad-hoc manner, creating organisational chaos. Different versions of files can become lodged in lengthy email chains or stranded on individual workstations, making them inaccessible to people who need them.
Microsoft SharePoint acts as a single point of consolidation for all of the files across a business. The combination of highly accessible but secure cloud storage, a simple interface familiar to Office users, and one-touch file sharing allows for documents to be neatly organised and accessible to everyone with the requisite permissions. This applies not only to project files, but also documents such as notices and missives, keeping everyone in the loop/
You’re using too many apps
The past few years have seen a raft of new work and productivity apps and tools hit the market, serving a business world that’s increasingly mobile, agile, and responsive to new ideas. Unfortunately for many businesses, this has created as many problems as it has solved. With separate apps for timekeeping, tracking projects, file sharing, file storage, meetings and more, you can easily end up less productive than ever.
One of the great benefits of Microsoft SharePoint is how many features it offers within a single software environment. SharePoint’s intranet allows you to build these functionalities into a single internal website, and includes functionalities such as file sharing and storage, social networking, task scheduling and more. Plus, with seamless Office integration, you can just straight into documents or spreadsheets from your browser or mobile app.
You need greater transparency
Data transparency is fundamental to modern life. It not only has a role to play in safety – see the Grenfell disaster and subsequent Building Safety Bill – but also in GDPR compliance, planning organisation, avoiding corruption and more. Knowing who has worked on a file when, what has been said about it, and how it compares to the original version has all sorts of applications, which can only be achieved by carefully organising your data.
The advanced data management functionalities offered by SharePoint make all of this easier. You’ll not only benefit from a single repository for files and internal communications, but one which is accessible, organised and categorised. Tight user controls ensure that access to sensitive information is limited, while storage and auditing policies built into SharePoint make it easy to flag expired records and make changes to client data.
You’re struggling to deliver content
Whether it’s for branding, marketing or clients, a robust content strategy is key. Blog posts help to establish your authority in a sector and attract visitors, while social media posts are central to most modern brands. Yet approving content and posting across multiple channels and websites can be a logistical nightmare, particularly in the fast moving digital realm.
SharePoint’s combination of a centralised environment and platform integration makes approving and publishing content a breeze. Content can be created and submitted for approval through your SharePoint site, and then scheduled for publication across multiple websites and social media channels. This not only allows the review process to be logged and tracked, but saves time navigating to other sites to login and author content.
You’re having issues with onboarding
Providing the information and training that new employees need can be tough, particularly if they are working remotely, or there are fewer people than usual in the office. The information they receive may be ad-hoc, and they may lack the immediate support they need to answer questions or resolve issues. This can lead to a lack of productivity, or small problems that snowball into bigger issues.
SharePoint acts as a central hub for information and internal communications, keeping everyone in the loop. Communication between junior and senior staff is made easier with fewer impediments, and key resources are available in familiar formats such as internal ‘wikis’, providing pivotal support and reassurance. SharePoint also shares its UI and many features with the Office software family, making it less daunting to learn how to use.
Your remote teams can’t collaborate
A minor revolution has seen methods of working change over the past few years, with many businesses embracing remote working. This combination of office work and remote work has brought new challenges in collaboration and communication. Without the right processes and software in place, employees can easily become isolated from one another, losing out on the benefits of being in the same office environment.
By acting as a single point of reference, SharePoint helps to bring employees together across locations. Comprehensive version controls allow individual changes to documents to be tracked, and files and updates to be shared in real time. Documents can also be locked so that only one person can edit them at the same time, preventing files from being overwritten, and work from being duplicated. Built-in social networking tools also allow for communication through SharePoint, making it a hub for all digital interactions.
Businesses are increasingly moving to more centralised software environments, and reaping the benefits. Just as having your workforce close together can aid in communication and collaboration, so using a platform like Microsoft SharePoint helps to bring people and information together. The result is a more organised, more productive and more informed workforce – whether that’s 50 people or 5000.
Sota is one of the UK’s leading independent IT companies, providing professional IT support in Kent, cloud computing, cyber resilience, connectivity, and unified communications. Having worked with countless businesses over the years, they are experts in their field, ready to advise and offer tailored solutions for each and every company.