Get the most out of SharePoint: uncommon applications

In our experience, we’ve found that some users of SharePoint aren’t always fully aware of the absolute capabilities of the platform. Because of this, users can get frustrated with it – as we’ve spoken about in our Hater’s Guide to SharePoint.

Many users may have adopted SharePoint simply for the document management features it has (although we’ve seen lots of instances of this not being utilised properly!) but there are plenty of other applications it can have in your organisation. It’s important to consider how SharePoint is going to be/has been implemented in your organisation, as this can make it even easier to use if done properly.

A cheap, poorly delivered implementation will cost a lot more in the long run. It’s wise to explore what you want SharePoint to do. As part of the planning stage, think about your most important requirements and why they’re needed the most. Companies get hit by unexpected costs when the business scope changes. If initially you wanted a simple, out of the box implementation and user experience, then SharePoint doesn’t have to cost the earth. However, if you’re now finding that you need super levels of unique customisation, continuous product development and extra add on software, you’re looking at a few extra costs.

SharePoint is a platform; and if you keep building onto it then it’ll cost you more money in the long run – however, if you’re building what you need for your business, then the cost is justified and evident in a well outlined business case.

You don’t need to necessarily stretch your budget to its limits to get a good SharePoint system working. You may however need to consider sacrifices of what you don’t need just yet. You can always change your system further down the line.

An effective way to plan your costs with SharePoint is to think of the ‘MoSCoW’ prioritisation method (Must haves, Should haves, Could haves, Won’t haves). This is part of what we do as a consultancy. In our ‘Art of the Possible’ workshops, we explore all the requirements with the client and choose the priorities accordingly. Albeit simple, this method can really scale down your expenditure.

There are many uses for SharePoint that you may not have thought of – even before investing in the platform. our quick list below scratches the surface of some of the uncommon applications of SharePoint.

• Analytic reporting, gathering and display
• Extranet
• Intranet
• Wikis
• Blogs
• Polls/forms/surveys
• Project Management
• Employee directory
• Knowledge respoitory
• Records Management
• Auction site
• Recruitment tool
• Staff management tool
• HR platform
• eLearning platform
• Document Transmittal
• Compliance (eg, GDPR)
• Improving security controls
• Workflows
• Excel replacement
• Unstructured data storage
• Aggregate news/data

There are even more applications of SharePoint that you can consider using – especially to expand on usages of the list above.

We’ve worked with SharePoint since its inception in 2001; we’ve seen a LOT of poor implementations, but also some great ones as well. We’re experts at implementing and re configuring SharePoint to help you get the best out of your investment in the platform. If you’d like to know more, simply get in touch – or download one of our guides here!