6 preconceptions about SharePoint that are no longer correct
Despite the tremendous growth of the platform, various preconceptions about SharePoint persist. Here we will highlight six frequently heard preconceptions and then clarify these misunderstandings.
1) SharePoint implementations are only suitable for large companies
It is certainly true that this used to be the case. Prior to SharePoint’s existence, an entire environment had to be set up for it. Add to that a considerable number of consultancy hours and the figure quickly rises to around €50,000 in no time at all. However, the introduction of SharePoint Online enables you to get straight to work for only a couple of euros for each user. An increasing amount of companies are also switching to Office 365 in the Cloud. SharePoint Online is included in this package and so SharePoint has therefore become much more accessible compared to ‘in the past’.
2) SharePoint implementations are ICT implementations
This preconception is also not entirely unsubstantiated. SharePoint used to have to run on a server and this server required maintenance, something which was facilitated by ICT. But with the arrival of SharePoint Online, SharePoint has become, first and foremost, determined by the business itself. The business side provides a demand: users are seeking better and more efficient cooperation, and people are looking for innovative ways to share work and to organize projects and teams. SharePoint provides everyone with the correct – and the same – information, at the right place and at the right time.
3) Only SharePoint consultants know how to work with SharePoint
Once again, this takes us back to a couple of years ago when a large toolbox called SharePoint would be deployed in a company. Then, with a friendly handshake, the organisation was wished much success. This rarely led to success, but SharePoint has matured. It can now be completely customized according to an organization’s wishes and has a user-friendly interface. By combing SharePoint Online with the appropriate apps, and using them in a focused way, you will no longer require the expertise of a consultant to benefit from SharePoint. Of course, you will still need a consultant to set up a SharePoint environment such as iConnect (link?), but that too is much more limited than before.
4. SharePoint is the most ‘secure’ tool; whatever you put in, you’ll never get back again!
We humans are used to thinking in terms of folders and subfolders. But if we save too many files, we lose a clear overview of where things are. Today, not only SharePoint itself, but also its search engine has matured considerably. For example, users can now add metadata to their documents – also known as: tagging – and search on that. However, it is important to explain this function to users. Take Google for example: nobody thinks in terms of folders there.
5. SharePoint is a fileserver
We often hear it: we want to empty our fileserver and transfer everything to SharePoint. But in that way, you simply shift the problem. Take a step back. What information is available in the organization, to what extent is this information still relevant, who needs access to what information, and what partnerships are in place? Map this out and start facilitating it. In that way, you can switch from a storage location for your files towards a collaborative environment that offers something functional.
6. My users cannot, and will not, work with it
If you introduce SharePoint Online without any guidance, then yes, the chances that your users will embrace it are indeed rather low. Digitalization’s main objective is to make people’s work more efficient and easier. But often we see the opposite result. A clear focus during the adoption phase is very important. Your people are already overloaded with different channels and information, but by appointing ambassadors, you will create support in your organisation. Introduce smaller pieces of functionality and avoid overloading people. And make sure that you clearly explain the problems that can be solved through this new way of working. In that way your users will also become enthusiastic about SharePoint.