As an intranet solution, Microsoft Sharepoint is widely used by a large number of global enterprises, but increasingly many users are considering other intranet alternatives because of the challenges they face when using Sharepoint. Organisations in today’s environment require a robust Intranet that offers a user friendly, cost-effective solution, and provides an effective communications platform that encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing among employees.
So why do all these things have to be so hard in Sharepoint? Let’s look at some of Sharepoint’s shortfalls as a cost-effective Intranet solution and why it might be better to switch to a better Sharepoint alternative.
Why Sharepoint Is Losing Its Relevance? Sharepoint tends to be the ‘go-to’ software of choice for IT Managers looking for a quick intranet solution. Because it’s Microsoft (i.e. trusted) and part of the Office 365 package (i.e. reliable), most techies will assume this makes Sharepoint straightforward, easy to use and has 24/7 support guaranteed.
However, many organisations who currently use Sharepoint as their intranet solution are actively looking for better options, mainly because their Sharepoint intranet is too complex for their employees to use and it does not actually meet most of their needs.
In a study by AIIM Market Intelligence, a resounding 68% of organization said choosing an intranet should not be left to IT, which might also explain why 40% of organisations stated “their Sharepoint implementation was not a success”.
Key Reasons Their Sharepoint Intranet Failed:
• 67% felt the system offered inadequate user training.
• 66% found the system hard to use.
• 64% lack of senior management support internally, making it hard to implement. • 55% struggled to engage users to manage and share content.
Six Challenges Faced By Companies Using Sharepoint:
1. Difficult to Implement Those companies looking for an ‘out-of-the-box‘ intranet software for small businesses may find it difficult to work with Sharepoint. The standard software solution by Sharepoint does not just offer Intranet, but provides a platform for building other kinds of solutions and hence requires customization by companies according to their needs. On top of that as it requires additional time and effort for its initial implementation, along with regular maintenance that requires dedicated IT staff inhouse.
2. Not User Friendly With 66% of end-users finding it hard to use, it’s no surprise that Sharepoint has issues with engagement – with 52% of employees admitting that they don’t always use the system and tend to revert back to old file-sharing methods.
Sharepoint is championed as a collaboration tool, and it’s no surprise that 58% of companies in this study chose to use the platform to collaborate on their projects. What is a surprise, is that 1/3 of these people also that their projects just never got off the ground. Because no one got on with Sharepoint (those pesky 52% of people) and stuck to their old systems, it meant that collaboration on the project got spread across numerous platforms, making it more difficult…with 33% stating “it’s a bit of a mess”.
3. Not Mobile Responsive In todays smartphone world, being able to collaborate and access resources from your mobile device, anywhere, anytime, is a must. But when it comes to Sharepoint, mobile responsiveness is unfortunately a bit of a failing. 72% of organization found no support for mobile across the platform, with almost 40% saying they found the lack of mobile support frustrating. The last thing any intranet provider wants is to frustrate their end-user – especially when that software is designed to promote and encourage engagement.
4. Sharepoint Can Be Expensive The cost of acquiring Sharepoint for your workplace can prove to be quite high after you’ve bought the software and implemented all the necessary hardware requirements – plus you’ll need dedicated IT staff for maintenance along with consultants needed for setting up the environment for Sharepoint. Basically, unlike SaaS like the Hub, where all the maintenance and technical stuff is done by our developers, Sharepoint takes up many more hours of your internal staff… and we all know that time costs money. This may not work out for companies which have limited budget as the costs of installing, running and maintaining their new intelligent intranet may prove to be costly. Besides, Sharepoint needs to be completely configured and upgraded, so the cost of provisioning to making upgrades may go up considerably as well. Sharepoint is also featured as an enterprise product which can also make the prices exorbitant, especially for larger installations.
5. Sharepoint is Complex Sharepoint can prove to be quite complicated and may require highly trained administrators, personnel and technical staff to deploy it as an intelligent intranet solution. As a result, this makes it less user friendly and leads to lower engagement and adoption by users.
6. Lacks Key Features Required For Better Functionality There are certain features such as global navigation and content targeting which are absent in Sharepoint. This leads to low engagement of users within the organization as they are unable to find the information they need easily using Sharepoint Intranet. Lack of intuitive user interface and user-friendliness is also one of the key reasons, why organizations prefer to use other Intranet alternatives.
* Findings from AIIM Market Intelligence survey 'Impact of Sharepoint - 2016' by Gimmal.
Interested in a user-friendly Sharepoint Alternative? Try Hub.
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