Perhaps you are in a situation where your organization is evaluating the use of SharePoint or you may be the one whose organization made the choice and now you are faced with making it all work. The first question to ask is why? Why are you using SharePoint? What problem does it address or gap will it fill? Many organizations are turning to SharePoint as a means for collaboration, better control over content or even electronic records management. What is your reason?
One of the things to be aware of is that while SharePoint appears to be simple to implement and use, there are challenges associated with it that need to be addressed like governance, consistent and standardized practices, taxonomic structure, metadata and security. This means that as an organization you need to find a balance between the flexibility it offers and control over its use. Imagine you r entire enterprise randomly creating team or project sites, changing content and reconfiguring the various components. Without some governance and controls in place, this situation could become problematic very quickly. The idea of SharePoint is to help organizations get control not lose control; to move from the unstructured, digital landfill of multiple network drives to a single source of truth for the organization. What you do not want is to create a container that becomes a dumpster.
In my view, the use of SharePoint can be extremely beneficial but like any other technology you have to focus on the business problem and reason to use it in ways that support the business goals and compliance requirements. Only then can you successfully implement and maintain a proper SharePoint environment. If you are not sure how to go about moving in that direction, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started.
What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.
Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
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