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Business benefits of using Microsoft SharePoint

by Elizabeth Harmon

There are many different tools that you can use today in business, but one popular platform that should be on your radar is Microsoft SharePoint.

Microsoft SharePoint is a tool that has been around since 2001, but since then it has evolved significantly. It’s now a web-based platform that enables content sharing and document management, collaboration between teams, process automation and much more.

It’s now used by more than 200,000 businesses, including many Fortune 500 companies as well as 190 million people. It’s therefore an important tool to be familiar with…

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Microsoft SharePoint Server vs. SharePoint Online

When working with Microsoft SharePoint, it’s important to understand that it is available in two different formats – Microsoft SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online:

  1. Microsoft SharePoint Server
    This version is installed onto a business’s server and therefore receives fewer updates than the online version. However, it offers a far greater set of features for businesses to use. It can also be customised fully to fit a business’s individual needs.
  2. SharePoint Online
    As its name suggests, SharePoint Online is available via the Internet and is usually included in Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions, rather than being accessed via a separate server. This means a business wouldn’t need to spend money on running their own servers. Whilst it still offers a lot of features, the online version provides fewer customisation options than the server format.

How can businesses benefit from using Microsoft SharePoint?

Whether you choose to use Microsoft SharePoint Server or SharePoint Online, both options can provide many benefits to businesses:

  • Aids collaboration and communication : Microsoft SharePoint enables employees to stay connected, even when working remotely. It supports simple communication and seamless collaboration, both inside and outside of the business, from desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices.
  • Improves business processes : With various Microsoft SharePoint features, businesses can streamline and transform their processes. Repetitive tasks can be easily automated, for example. This can save valuable time which employees can use to focus on more business-critical tasks instead.
  • Creates a centralised store of information: SharePoint makes it easier to keep employees informed via intranets and provides them with access to all the latest information, apps and data they need for their work. This means that employees will no longer need to spend time searching for information or struggle to access documents because the file is being stored offline. Plus, because of SharePoint’s integration with Microsoft OneDrive, it takes care of version control too, ensuring users always have access to the most up-to-date copy.
  • It is customisable and scalable: Unlike off-the-shelf software which might not tick every box, SharePoint can be customised to fit the exact needs of a business, whether they’re large enterprises or small businesses. This means employees have the exact tools they need to get their job done. This platform can then change as a business develops, making it a completely scalable option. Business branding can even be added to really make it feel bespoke to a business. Customisation can also take place without the involvement of a professional developer, or knowledge of coding, making it accessible to any business.
  • Provides centralised administration: SharePoint provides a centralised administration console. This means everything from security and backups, to system settings and configuration can be controlled from one single location. This makes it easy to monitor activities and keep control of the platform.
  • Creates a secure space for document management and collaboration: In business, security is a key concern, especially when employees are sharing sensitive documents in the cloud and collaborating online. However, Microsoft SharePoint provides robust security, with full end-to-end encryption, to prevent any unauthorised access.

If you want to stay on top of all the latest Microsoft SharePoint developments, or are interested in advancing your skills to widen your career opportunities in the future, the Open Colleges’ IT Certification Learning Library can help.

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