Information Management - The Perfect Companion to Microsoft SharePoint
According to Microsoft, SharePoint is currently used by over 200,000 organisations worldwide – but like any tool, knowing how to use it is half the battle.
Microsoft SharePoint allows businesses to easily store digital files and documents on a central server. Whether this server is based on-premises, entirely Cloud-based, or a hybrid of both; users are able to interact with documents without having them saved directly onto their device; making SharePoint ideal for sharing and collaborating.
But are businesses currently making the best use of this program?
SharePoint’s effectiveness is entirely dependent the extent to which its system is organised. However, having a well-organised system can be very difficult, unless:
- The system is optimally designed from the outset, and
- Employees follow the exact same filing procedures universally.
If many employees have access to SharePoint without sufficient instruction or oversight, systems have the potential to easily become disorganised and difficult to navigate. Multiple documents being misnamed, duplicated, misplaced, or missing altogether will inevitably result in information taking a long time to locate - defeating the purpose of a shared server in the first place.
However, by pairing SharePoint with an information management system, users gain access to a preconfigured system with a clear, intuitive structure right from the outset - so employees can effectively ‘plug and play’ with little instruction necessary. Because navigability is central to how information management systems are set up, problems like misplaced documents can be spotted and rectified easily; making documents easier for employees to find and access.
Microsoft do not offer any guidance on achieving an optimal setup for SharePoint; with the result being that the usability of a system depends entirely on the expertise of the ‘architect’ who has built it. This can cause significant disruptions if the filing system ends up being particularly unintuitive for others to grasp; but if that ‘architect’ is to leave the business, crucial information can potentially be lost in a labyrinth of poorly organised files.
Furthermore, the demand and average salary for full-time SharePoint developers are very high. While there is always the option to outsource the management of your SharePoint system; the costs of design, implementation, and ongoing support are exceedingly expensive, and also force businesses to be dependent on employed developers, in addition to third-party contractors.
On the other hand, information management systems can be tailored to suit your unique business needs – and systems such as Therefore™ have certain procedures embedded at their core, making systems easy to learn and teach.
Apogee can offer guidance on how to configure your information management system to work optimally; regardless of whether you’re already using SharePoint or not. This support means that ongoing guidance can all be co-ordinated through one central provider for ease, convenience, and no additional cost.
Basic e-forms and automated workflows are features of Microsoft SharePoint. However, these do not provide the level of functionality required by most businesses – at least, not without further investments into specialised Microsoft programs such as Power Automate and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Voice. As well as representing a considerable cost, these programs also require an amount of programming expertise to create and maintain.
However, information management systems such as Therefore™ are designed with accessibility at their core foundation. The result of this is that users with even a basic understanding of IT are able to create and maintain complex e-forms and automatic workflows – without requiring investment in additional programs. By integrating an information management system into SharePoint, users are able to maximise the functionality of these features without sacrificing significant levels of capital expenditure.
Microsoft only offers chargeable onsite support for SharePoint – and while there are many external businesses who provide their own support service; finding a reliable and cost-effective support provider has the potential to become quite the time sink, for possibly lacklustre and costly results.
As a point of comparison, subscription services for information management systems generally include support as part of the monthly fee; meaning that unforeseen issues are already accounted for in your budget. Not only is this far more cost-efficient; but Apogee’s support gives customers access to a 24/7, industry-leading expert consultation service, which also includes dedicated on-site support if necessary.
Enormously versatile, information management systems can refine and organise your current Microsoft SharePoint server – and can also make a worthy substitute on its own. If you feel an information management system could help your business, contact us here.