Before jumping directly into the SharePoint Intranet Pros and Cons, we’ll introduce the topic by slowly emerging into technology and the business world.
The remarkable progress of technology over the years has resulted in a dramatic change in the business world. Technological advancements have made it possible for anyone with the right skill set and a laptop to start a business online.
While many technological advancements couldn’t manage to survive over a span of time, the intranet has only evolved since its inception. The intranet hosting software has revolutionized the business world.
Intranets have been able to change the way a business runs today. In such a way that managers and CEOs are often surprised to see such fast growth.
Now, we believe that you might be already aware of what an intranet is, but just to make sure that we are all on the same page, let’s briefly explain the term.
An intranet is a private network in an organization that allows its employees to communicate, collaborate, securely share information, and compute resources.
Enough with the intranet. In this article, we will throw light on a SharePoint Intranet along with its pros and cons.
So without any further ado, let’s roll.
Oh, Wait!! Before we jump directly onto discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the SharePoint Intranet, it would be better to have a look at what SharePoint is, along with its features.
What is SharePoint?
Microsoft SharePoint is a customer-oriented and highly configurable web-based platform integrated with Microsoft office for the purpose of storage and file sharing.
In simple terms, it is a document and content management system. It provides secure workspaces to organizations and helps its employees to coordinate and communicate with their teams. This includes create tasks, track schedules, and find any detail related to their daily jobs or project.
Features of SharePoint Intranet
- Collaboration- Different teams working on the same project can collaborate through applications, and developers can either build their own or customize the apps.
- Extensibility- One can deploy the applications to the cloud through SharePoint online service. All you need to do is subscribe to Office 365 and get advanced capabilities.
- Interoperability- SharePoint integrates office and web-based documents and allows us to build custom solutions using different technologies.
SharePoint business intranet offers a wide range of features. One can build a website for customers or create a functional internal team site by using the same. It also allows you to share information with outside business partners.
So, briefly these were the features of the SharePoint intranet, but like other platforms, it also comes with its own pros and cons.
Now, let’s move forward and have a look at the pros and cons of the SharePoint intranet.
SharePoint Intranet- Pros and Cons
1. Extensive Range of Features
SharePoint itself offers a diverse set of features including task management, asset library, document management, and security information management. These features ensure that the organization enjoys a seamless experience while storing, sharing, and managing the information in the digital form.
The extensive and diverse range of features offered by the SharePoint ensures that developers are not required to code every single function from scratch. They get everything in place and just need to work upon customizing, enhancing the same as per the business requirements.
2. Office 365 Integrations
SharePoint is now a part of the Office 365 suite, and it makes it much more enjoyable. Since Microsoft has exclusively built all the products on Office 365, there is no doubt in saying that all the products work well in harmony. Thus, organizations can take leverage of all the products offered via Office 365 by connecting those with the SharePoint intranet platform.
In addition to this, new versions, features, and improvements in Office 365 are offered to SharePoint online customers regularly, at no additional cost. So, customers never have to wait for the SharePoint on-premise versions to be introduced.
3. Integration with other Systems
There is no denying the fact that SharePoint offers a wide range of exclusive functionalities. Well, it can even be built to integrate with existing business systems including ERP and CRM. This makes it easy for organizations to access the information in no time by connecting different systems from the available sources.
Many organizations started using SharePoint due to the fact that it was designed to be molded to meet different business requirements. Well, it also provides the base for various types of enterprise solutions, including portals, intranets, collaborative workspaces, and many more.
It offers many opportunities for integrations and customizations. Developers can quickly build anything ranging from a simple custom add-on to a complicated application to meet specific business processes and requirements such as intranet solutions.
It is a one-stop solution for building different processes and platforms, which makes it an enticing option if you are looking for flexibility.
1. Complex to Maintain and Use
No doubt, SharePoint is the best intranet platform and serves as an umbrella for inter-departmental collaboration and different processes. The platform offers a wide variety of features, but it is reported that SharePoint is hard to maintain.
According to a report published by AIIM two-thirds of the organizations using SharePoint says that the major cause of low adoption rate includes inadequate user training and complexity in using the platform.
The platform was built to be customized rather than being used straight out of the box. This makes it clear that one requires advanced technical skills to develop and manage the platform. Users must be either highly skilled technically or the company must have their own SharePoint developer(s), a pro IT consultant, intranet service provider to assist in maintaining the platform.
Such a requirement of an IT team, a pro SharePoint developer, or an external service provider may drain both money and time since the internal team could otherwise focus on more valuable work. Furthermore, relying on an external service provider may result in delayed updates of the content on the platform.
2. Expensive Implementation and Customization
The pricing of SharePoint depends on the chosen model: subscription, on-premise, or hybrid. With its pricing being flexible, the cost is still an obstacle for many companies.
The platform requires a high level of customization to be built to meet the specific needs of organizations, which eventually holds power to blow out the budget of organizations. The hybrid or an on-premise solution is not only limited to the licensing cost as there exists a cost for the deployment, customization, migration, infrastructure, operation of hardware and software, training, and administration.
Even if you get a free SharePoint online license with your Office 365, you will have to bear the cost for further customization, implementation, training, and administration.
The high cost of introducing SharePoint often results in delay in its deployment. Thus achieving a positive ROI can be a longer journey than expected.
3. Extensive Range of Features can create a Mess
We all know that SharePoint comes with a range of features, but such features may also make it difficult for an organization to choose those that fit well with their business needs. If all the features are enabled at once without prioritizing, then it might result in a messy intranet, which will eventually hamper the activities of users.
To avoid that from happening, organizations will have to analyze organizational processes, collaboration habits, and employee activities to ensure that they prioritize the relevant features.
Apart from this, many features call for extensive customization to fit well with the business requirements, thus, organizations have to invest time in tailoring the same before introducing them to be generally used in an organization.
4. Integrations Require Extra Development Effort
As already discussed in the pros section, the SharePoint intranet offers integration with Office 365 and other systems. Well, every integration comes with its own particularity.
You must consider the integration issues beforehand since they may result in additional time and cost in your project, and there are chances that in case of failure, employees’ productivity might get affected.
Is SharePoint Intranet right for your Business?
We have now covered the features, pros, and cons of the SharePoint intranet. We hope that you are now acquainted with the many aspects that should be considered before choosing the platform for your organization.
Well, your decision should depend upon your business needs, size, and budget. Anyways, SharePoint is equally suited for small, medium-sized and large businesses with many teams and collaboration programs. Moreover, for an organization with an IT department, setting up a SharePoint is pretty straightforward.
At the same time, small organizations can go for office 365 or SharePoint online solutions.
I hope that the information provided above will serve you in your best interest, and you will benefit from the same as much as you can.