Building a High-performing SharePoint Intranet: A Guide
SharePoint is a powerful platform that allows organizations to create and manage their intranet sites. With its extensive features and capabilities, SharePoint provides a robust foundation for building a high-performing intranet. In this guide, we will explore the key steps and considerations involved in building a SharePoint intranet that meets your organization’s needs.
Understanding SharePoint Development
SharePoint development involves the creation and customization of SharePoint sites and applications. It includes tasks such as designing the site structure, creating lists and libraries, configuring workflows, and developing custom web parts. SharePoint development can be done using SharePoint Online, which is a cloud-based version of SharePoint, or SharePoint On-premise, which is installed and managed on your organization’s servers.
Intranet Design and Development
Designing and developing an intranet involves creating a user-friendly and visually appealing interface that meets the needs of your organization. When designing your SharePoint intranet, consider the following:
- Information architecture: Plan the structure of your intranet, including the organization of sites, lists, and libraries.
- Navigation: Create a clear and intuitive navigation system to help users easily find the information they need.
- Branding: Customize the look and feel of your intranet to reflect your organization’s brand identity.
- Responsive design: Ensure that your intranet is accessible and usable on different devices, such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Once the design is finalized, the development phase involves implementing the design using SharePoint’s built-in features and custom development, if required. This includes creating site templates, configuring security settings, and developing custom web parts or workflows.
Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Outsourcing SharePoint development can be a cost-effective solution for organizations that do not have in-house expertise or resources. By partnering with a SharePoint development agency, you can leverage their knowledge and experience to build a high-performing intranet. When outsourcing SharePoint development, consider the following:
- Experience and expertise: Choose a SharePoint development agency with a proven track record and expertise in SharePoint development.
- Communication and collaboration: Ensure effective communication and collaboration with the agency to ensure that your requirements are understood and implemented correctly.
- Project management: Define clear project goals, timelines, and deliverables to ensure a successful outcome.
- Support and maintenance: Discuss post-development support and maintenance options with the agency to ensure the long-term success of your intranet.
Custom SharePoint Development
Custom SharePoint development involves creating tailored solutions that meet your organization’s unique requirements. This can include developing custom web parts, workflows, or integrating SharePoint with other systems. Custom development allows you to extend the capabilities of SharePoint and enhance the functionality of your intranet. When considering custom SharePoint development, keep the following in mind:
- Requirements gathering: Clearly define your requirements and objectives to ensure that the custom solution meets your needs.
- Development approach: Choose the appropriate development approach, such as using SharePoint Framework (SPFx) for client-side development or SharePoint Designer for workflow development.
- Testing and deployment: Thoroughly test the custom solution before deploying it to your production environment to ensure its stability and reliability.
- Documentation and training: Document the custom solution and provide training to end-users to ensure its effective use and adoption.
Managed SharePoint Services
Managed SharePoint services provide ongoing support and maintenance for your SharePoint intranet. This includes tasks such as monitoring the performance and availability of your intranet, applying updates and patches, and providing technical support to end-users. By outsourcing the management of your SharePoint intranet to a managed services provider, you can focus on your core business activities while ensuring the smooth operation of your intranet. When choosing a managed SharePoint services provider, consider the following:
- Service level agreements: Define clear service level agreements (SLAs) to ensure that the provider meets your performance and availability requirements.
- Proactive monitoring and maintenance: Choose a provider that offers proactive monitoring and maintenance to identify and resolve issues before they impact your intranet.
- Technical expertise: Ensure that the provider has the necessary technical expertise to handle any SharePoint-related issues or challenges.
- Scalability and flexibility: Choose a provider that can scale their services to meet your organization’s changing needs and requirements.
Building a high-performing SharePoint intranet requires careful planning, design, and development. Whether you choose to develop your intranet in-house or outsource it to a SharePoint development agency, it is important to consider your organization’s unique requirements and objectives. By following the steps and considerations outlined in this guide, you can create a SharePoint intranet that enhances collaboration, improves productivity, and meets the needs of your organization.