What is it?
SharePoint is a web-based collaboration and content management platform which was developed by Microsoft. It serves different purposes within organizations such as Intranet, Content Management System, Platform for Workflows (Automation of business processes) etc.
Its content management capabilities allows users within an organization securely store, share and collaborate with one other which in the end increases productivity. SharePoint is one of the most popular portal technologies across the world. It is used by lots of small and large scale organizations.
Features and benefits of SharePoint to businesses
There are various useful features and benefits on SharePoint which helps organizations to improve team collaboration and productivity.
A SharePoint site can be used as an intranet, where documents, announcements, projects, tasks, calendars and contact lists can be maintained and shared for use within the organization.
Business process Automation (Workflows)
The ability to automate repetitive business processes within your organization is one great strength of SharePoint. Examples of workflows includes a Leave Request, Expense Claims, Document Approval Systems etc. SharePoint provides you with a platform that allows you develop workflows out of the box or create a custom solution to suit your business requirements.
With tools like InfoPath and SharePoint Designer which are now being replaced with Power Apps and Power Automate respectively, you can easily design and develop solutions to automate your business processes. This in turn increases productivity of among employees as it gives them more time to focus on other important things and saves them lots of time and stress and also saves the organization some reasonable amount of money.
As mentioned earlier, SharePoint provides a platform that allows employees share information and collaborate. However, there is a need to keep this information safe as it might require only specific users having access to this information.
This is also another great benefit of using SharePoint. It keeps content within the environment secure, as users need a form of authentication to access the environment in the first place. Furthermore, it allows you to decide who has access to what and what level of power/privilege such users have on each of the content on the SharePoint environment.
SharePoint has a rich and powerful Search feature which enables Users get relevant documents or information in a very short time. This also saves employees a lot of time.
Versions of SharePoint
There are two major versions of SharePoint:
- SharePoint On-premises – This is hosted locally and accessible within a certain network. It involves the organization setting up their own servers which makes them also responsible for installation, configuration and maintenance.
- SharePoint Online – This is a cloud based version of SharePoint which requires a monthly/yearly payment, it comes with the Office 365 Subscription. However, the installation, configuration and maintenance of the environment is the responsibility of Microsoft.
For several reasons which I will be talking about some other time, personally I am enthusiastic and more inclined towards using SharePoint Online.
SharePoint has been in existence for almost 2 decades, helping lots of organization become more productive. Looking at the features, benefits and all I have talked about above, you will agree that SharePoint is a great platform that can help both small and large businesses.
With the kind of work that the Microsoft team puts in daily to make the platform better, I can confidently tell you that SharePoint is here to stay and I encourage you to take advantage of this powerful tool in increasing your business productivity.