Depending on the way you manage your support, the consequences can vary if a particular area is left unsupported. For example, you may have regular in-house support, or you deal with support requests on an ad-hoc, priority basis. Our guide on Office 365 and SharePoint support is hugely helpful for those who need some redirection.
Consequences for an unsupported SharePoint environment aren’t just financial; they can be loss of time, productivity and more. If SharePoint and Office 365 have business-critical elements that must be supported in order for your business to operate, then chances are the consequences for them failing will be particularly problematic. Here are six things that can happen if your SharePoint environment isn’t correctly looked after.
Loss of productivity
If your SharePoint platform doesn’t work or operate as it properly should, then users will lose interest and either find another way to get the work done or simply leave the work unfinished. If they don’t have the means to complete a task, it’s common for users to feel frustrated and end up losing motivation to do a job well. A loss of productivity can have a secondary financial effect but also have a long term consequence when it comes to internal processes.
Over months and even years, patch up jobs and workarounds can cause your systems to end up having unusual and illogical setups. Eventually when your IT staff responsible for the support architecture leave the company, it becomes increasingly difficult to train their replacements on the unusual system. Patch up jobs are great for short term problems, but never solve any real problems – they can only lead to more issues further down the line. The cost of these patch up jobs is also false economy; because you’re paying for lots of small fixes over a period of time which don’t lead to a well-working system.
Exposure to gaps in your security
You wouldn’t leave your house for the day and leave the front door open would you? The same goes for an unsupported SharePoint environment. If you leave it unsupported, you may find you’re opening yourself to security vulnerabilities that can have problematic consequences. With the GDPR now in full effect (if you want to know more about that from a SharePoint perspective, you can download our handy guide here) data is more important than ever. If you can’t protect your data properly, your whole system (both internally and externally) is at risk.
Part of a good support strategy is being able to have a back up plan in place for when things do go wrong – because not everything is perfect! If you don’t have a good system for support, then when things do go wrong or not work properly it’ll be almost impossible to get them working again. Not only have they perhaps gone wrong suddenly, but you won’t have a means to address the problem quickly and efficiently without a good support strategy.
Money spent on training
Say you hire someone to look after your SharePoint system in-house. Great! However, they’ve dictated the way the system is run and now they want to leave the business. Unless they’ve trained someone else themselves, you’ll be spending money. Not only hiring more support but training that person to do the exact same level of support as their predecessor. The problem here is clear. It’s all too easy for budget to get quickly absorbed elsewhere. And for training becomes an after thought. A SharePoint system that’s well-supported will have multiple users working on it. Some may have various areas of expertise, but it’s better than relying on one person.
What do I do?
It’s also worth staying up to date with the latest Microsoft and SharePoint updates and news, so you’re in the loop for future developments and updates. If you’re restructuring your team, be sure to keep support in mind as part of your IT strategy. The Microsoft product life cycle site has useful information regarding particular versions of SharePoint and Office 365.
If you’re not sure what steps to take regarding your support, then all you need to do is get in touch with us. We’re SharePoint support experts, and have seen a lot of support setups that just don’t work! You name it, we’ve probably fixed it. Come to us and we’ll be more than happy to help.