If you’re a business professional looking to enhance efficiency and collaboration, Microsoft SharePoint would be a great place to start.
SharePoint tools allow employees to collaborate in real-time on shared workspaces and manage documents securely. If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you already have access to a great tool for modern workplaces.
What is Microsoft SharePoint?
SharePoint is a web-based collaborative document management programme. It seamlessly integrates with Microsoft 365 apps to improve your organisation's productivity.
The platform offers a suite of tools for managing documents and content, fostering collaboration. You can also create internal and external websites and automation workflows.
SharePoint empowers teams and organisations to securely create, store, exchange, and oversee information, documents, and data in a cooperative digital environment. Users can easily access and collaborate on content from various devices and locations, promoting teamwork and enhancing productivity. It is highly customisable and widely used for building intranets, extranets, document repositories, and project management systems, making it a versatile solution for businesses of all sizes.
Benefits of Microsoft SharePoint for Business
There are three areas to focus on when it comes to the benefits SharePoint has to offer your business: Collaboration, Productivity and Security. Let’s drill down into each area.
Enhanced Collaboration and Communication
Microsoft SharePoint is undoubtedly one of the best tools that the 365 package has to offer. The main benefits reside in the collaboration and communication tools that users can utilise.
Post-pandemic, businesses globally have adapted to digital working, and remote work has become more prevalent. However, this shift may result in decreased team communication. This is where SharePoint comes in. Microsoft SharePoint is a great way to bring your business closer together.
SharePoint has a whole host of collaboration tools your team can make the most of across your organisation's devices. Users can work together within shared notebooks and calendars, virtual workspaces, and content management spaces. What's more, Microsoft 365 products have seamless integration, so you can collaborate with colleagues without leaving the application you're using.
Productivity and Efficiency
In business, time equals money. You want your employees and your business to remain as productive as possible throughout the working week. Here are some ways that Microsoft SharePoint can save your business precious time, energy, and resources.
- Real-time Changes: Real-time co-authoring and editing eliminates the need for back-and-forth updates, saving your business valuable time and energy.
- Document Consolidation: All organisation documents can be consolidated into the platform; every file you need is accessible within a few clicks.
- Workflow Automation: Use customisable workflows to streamline and automate various business processes. Workflows can range from collecting signatures, feedback, or approvals for a plan or document to tracking the current status of a routine procedure.
- Enhanced Organisation: Your company’s SharePoint Site can be organised to include the key folder, files and subfolders that you need.
- Seamless Integration: SharePoint integrates seamlessly with other 365 products like Microsoft Teams. Adding SharePoint as an extension allows you to switch between both platforms without leaving the MS Teams app.
- Document Version History: A record of previous versions is kept and can be reverted to if needed.
- Cross-device Accessibility: SharePoint users can access the files they need remotely from any SharePoint-friendly device.
Tighter Business Security and Compliance
If your business places a high priority on business security and compliance, look no further than Microsoft SharePoint. With centralised administration, designated users can access the SharePoint Compliance Centre, an area where authorised persons can assign appropriate access and permissions to other users.
SharePoint also provides a robust security offering: access control, data loss prevention (DLP), and information rights management (IRM); therefore, the tool is perfectly set up to keep your organisation secure and compliant.
The Microsoft SharePoint Access Control Centre is a set of tools that govern how individual users and groups access and interact with documents and pages within the SharePoint site or environment. Here, admins can optimise tools such as:
- Permission Levels: The ability to grant varying levels of access.
- Conditional Access: Access dependant on variable conditions: location, device, etc.
- Unique Permissions: Admins can set unique permissions at a subsite, library, or item level.
Access Control sets boundaries. Imagine you have confidential employee documents such as payroll information and performance appraisals; you’d need to ensure that access to these sensitive documents is carefully controlled. Using SharePoint’s Access Control Centre would mean that data privacy, compliance with regulations, and protection against unauthorised access would be upheld.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
SharePoint’s DLP is a set of security and compliance features and tools designed to help organisations prevent the unauthorised disclosure or leakage of sensitive information and data within their SharePoint environments. DLP tools include:
- Policy Creation: Policies that specify how sensitive data should be handled.
- Content Monitoring: A DLP feature which scans data and applies policies to protect the information.
DLP is about protecting your business data. A financial services company would benefit massively from SharePoint’s DLP feature as they have to deal with a vast amount of customer records, financial reports and investment information.
Information Rights Management (IRM)
The IRM security feature enables organisations to control and protect sensitive or confidential information stored within a SharePoint environment. Some critical aspects of IRM include:
- Content Protection: A tool that safeguards documents, lists and libraries.
- Document Expiry and Revocation: A feature that enables expiration dates to be set and can revoke/restrict content.
Law firms must keep client confidentiality by protecting their legal documents and information. IRM would ensure that sensitive legal documents such as contracts and case files are safeguarded whilst remaining compliant throughout the process.
It's clear that SharePoint offers many business benefits, from security to productivity and scalability. However, it does require technical expertise to set up and ongoing maintenance. Smaller organisations may not have the IT staff to support these requirements.
Therefore, it's essential to evaluate your unique business needs, available resources, and long-term goals when considering whether or not to implement SharePoint. In some cases, SharePoint may be an excellent solution, while in others, a different platform or approach may better suit your requirements.
If you're uncertain about whether SharePoint is the right fit for your business or if you need assistance with setting up your site and ongoing support, book a call with one of our experts! As Microsoft Modern Workplace partners, we can offer you tailored advice and support that suits your business requirements.