Microsoft SharePoint is beneficial to companies who need a private network that can host blogs, social media platforms, company documents, events, self-service electronic forms, and more that are stored on cloud. SharePoint intranet has been developed by Microsoft Corporation since 2000.
Organizations using Microsoft SharePoint have reported an improvement in work productivity, increase on investment returns, and an even better collaboration among department heads and first line workers. After all, SharePoint aims to make collaboration among teams easier across different devices (mind the mobile version).
WATCH: 5 Certain Benefits of Using Intranet
SharePoint Versions Since 2000
The SharePoint intranet started as an Office Server Extensions in 2000. This web-based tool was later developed into different versions. Following the release of the first version, Microsoft introduced the SharePoint Portal Server 2001. The following year, the company released the SharePoint Team Services.
The company then introduced Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 that has a free license and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 that was set for commercial release. Microsoft also offered Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with free license and Office SharePoint Server 2007 that has a commercial extension.
In 2010, Microsoft introduced the SharePoint Foundation 2010 for free together with SharePoint Server 2010 for commercial extension for Foundation and SharePoint Enterprise 2010 for commercial extension for Server.
The company then released the SharePoint Foundation 2013 for free SharePoint Server 2013, and SharePoint Enterprise 2013. Then came SharePoint Online Plans 1 and 2. Other SharePoint intranet versions are SharePoint Server 2016, SharePoint Enterprise 2016, SharePoint Server 2019, and SharePoint Enterprise 2019.
SharePoint Intranet Examples
There are various SharePoint intranet examples that you might have come across, heard, or been using now. One example of a SharePoint intranet is a SharePoint homepage where you can see all the company’s published articles, announcements, events, and other content that you can click to visit other subsites that are associated with your SharePoint homepage.
The associated sites of SharePoint are the different departments or divisions that have their own subsites that they can use to collaborate with their team members in that particular division or department. For example, an associated site can be a Human Resources Onboarding, Marketing and Sales Department, or IT Department. Companies that acquire a SharePoint intranet have different subsites or associated sites, depending on how many divisions they want the SharePoint developers to include in their intranet.
Also, a SharePoint general homepage has a search bar where you can easily find documents or any content that you can’t seem to find while navigating through the intranet. A SharePoint intranet also includes a directory, containing all important contact information of an organization’s employees or users who have access to the intranet. Other good SharePoint intranet examples are the ones that Data Outsource developed for companies in Canada and the United States.
SharePoint Pros and Cons
One of the advantages of using a SharePoint intranet is that it empowers employees within your organization. Employees always need to feel that they are part of something. SharePoint allows flexible navigation among subsites or company departments, and this functionality provides employees a sense of belonging.
Since Microsoft SharePoint homepage allows publishing of company events, employees get a chance to be featured in their monthly newsletters or awarding ceremonies. These are some of the things that empower employees.
Another advantage of using SharePoint intranet is that it manages projects and documents better than the traditional way. SharePoint allows its users to share and modify documents in real time. All documents are uploaded or stored in cloud which means that employees can easily access these documents from word and upload or publish them on their SharePoint intranet subsite. This functionality alone increases work productivity among workers.
Keeping track of all activities or modifications in all company documents and projects is crucial to small and large companies. Gone are the days where employees personally ask their teammates on project updates or approvals just to move forward on a certain project task. SharePoint is better with managing and organizing all these documents, applications, and projects.
SharePoint intranet also enables companies to freely customize their environment that will suit their needs and requirements. SharePoint has various features that developers or trained IT specialists can customize and deploy given that employees or users will have a good user experience in their environment.
There are few disadvantages in using SharePoint intranet. One of the things that companies must consider before trying SharePoint is that building an intranet requires a lot of time for testing and deployment. How complex the intranet is can mean more time for SharePoint experts to develop.
Although Microsoft SharePoint allows customization, companies may also face high cost for this service. Organizations need to be aware that the intranet deployment models (on-premise, subscription, and hybrid) also affect the cost of SharePoint customization.
Another worth noting is that SharePoint intranet requires training of in-house employees. It would be costly to hire third-party SharePoint experts. A practical way of maintaining an intranet is to allow in-house IT specialists to learn more about the structure of Microsoft SharePoint so that support and maintenance can easily be implemented.
If you’ve already started acquiring third-party SharePoint developers, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as these developers continue to provide support and maintenance to your SharePoint intranet.
SharePoint has a lot to offer to organizations. Although this web-base collaboration tool has a few downsides, SharePoint still lives up to its goal, which is to manage company documents and be a storage system for company information.
We hope we covered the basic things about a SharePoint intranet. Let us know in the comments section below if you think we missed some important things about Microsoft SharePoint. Don’t forget to share this blog on your social media accounts.