Is SharePoint a pain point? Maybe it’s time to ditch it.

It's from Microsoft

If, despite its proven and consistent shortfalls, “someone” within your enterprise still defends Microsoft’s SharePoint righteously, you need to keep reading this post. When employees want simple, easy to use systems for everything they do, it’s hard not to wonder why a clunky, challenging system like SharePoint is still an office favourite? While we don’t actually have the answer to that mystery, we do have your potential solution.

According to a number of studies, the No. 1 justification for spending money on a corporate intranet is to reduce the time and effort on enterprise search. With that being said, I personally haven’t met an employee at a company that feels their SharePoint system meets their needs. There is clearly a disconnect between theory and practice in the IT world. This is likely the reason so many “Rogue IT” projects are popping up within company walls, in which non-IT people are implementing systems without the approval of IT. Approximately 80 per cent of large organizations have a SharePoint system and while it can do a lot for you, it asks a lot in return. This system, designed to let people within a company collaborate and share information, requires heavy customization, has poor social computing capabilities and is not based on intuitive navigation whatsoever, making it difficult for most people to use. No real surprise then, that the following (rather serious) criticisms continuously arise:

It’s Slow to Deploy

SharePoint requires extensive staff training and substantial lead times to roll out. It can actually take months to deploy SharePoint and even longer to move to a new version when the time comes. In this digitally advanced age, you simply cannot afford to wait that long for the tools you need to get the job done.

It’s Difficult to Configure

SharePoint isn’t an “out-of-the-box” operation. Experienced architects and developers are required to configure the application to meet the needs of your business. And with a heavy backlog of IT projects and the difficulty finding specialized talent, it’s no wonder that there are often delays in implementation.

It’s Costly

SharePoint requires serious investments in servers, software, licenses, maintenance and customization. In fact, it’s estimated (by a Microsoft executive, no less) that for every dollar spent on licensing SharePoint, you pay an additional $6 for the services to make it do anything.

Users Don’t Like It

SharePoint’s user interface is notoriously inadequate. Its complexity means slow adoption and low engagement by its users. It also has relatively weak support for the most common Web 2.0 application types like social profiles, microblogging and activity streams. Ask yourself this: why would you implement systems for “power users” when 98 percent of your staff use only its most basic functions?

Where SharePoint falls short, a web-based add-on can reach further and deliver more. Web-apps offer solutions that are simpler, less expensive and can have you up and running in no time?all without the ongoing customization, maintenance or support issues that come along with stale SharePoint.

If you are looking to improve your internal systems, a web-based solution can be up and running in days, is easy to use for everyone in the organization (seriously, everyone) and is affordable. You need an answer to your business challenges that your entire team will not just tolerate, but one that they will actually enjoy using. That’s a point worth sharing.