Designing a Future-Proof Intranet Development Strategy
In today’s digital age, organizations are increasingly relying on intranets to streamline communication, collaboration, and information sharing within their workforce. SharePoint, a powerful platform developed by Microsoft, has emerged as a leading choice for intranet development. With its robust features and flexibility, SharePoint offers organizations the ability to create a future-proof intranet that can adapt to their evolving needs.
The Benefits of SharePoint Intranet Development
SharePoint intranet development offers numerous benefits for organizations. Some of the key advantages include:
- Centralized Information: SharePoint allows organizations to centralize all their important information, documents, and resources in one place, making it easily accessible to employees.
- Improved Collaboration: SharePoint provides a range of collaboration tools, such as document sharing, version control, and real-time co-authoring, enabling teams to work together more efficiently.
- Enhanced Communication: SharePoint offers various communication features, such as news feeds, discussion boards, and team sites, facilitating effective communication and knowledge sharing across the organization.
- Customization Options: SharePoint allows organizations to customize their intranet to align with their branding, design preferences, and specific business requirements.
- Integration Capabilities: SharePoint seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft tools and applications, such as Office 365, Outlook, and Teams, providing a unified digital workplace experience.
Choosing the Right SharePoint Development Agency
When embarking on a SharePoint intranet development project, it is crucial to choose the right SharePoint development agency. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a SharePoint development agency:
- Experience and Expertise: Look for a SharePoint development agency with a proven track record and extensive experience in developing SharePoint intranets. They should have a deep understanding of SharePoint’s capabilities and best practices.
- Portfolio: Review the agency’s portfolio to assess the quality of their previous SharePoint projects. Look for examples that align with your organization’s industry and requirements.
- Client References: Ask for client references and testimonials to gain insights into the agency’s reputation, customer satisfaction, and ability to deliver projects on time and within budget.
- Collaboration Approach: Evaluate the agency’s collaboration approach and communication channels. A good SharePoint development agency should involve your organization throughout the development process and provide regular updates.
- Support and Maintenance: Inquire about the agency’s post-development support and maintenance services. A reliable agency should offer ongoing support to ensure the smooth functioning of your SharePoint intranet.
On-Premise vs. SharePoint Online
SharePoint offers two deployment options: on-premise and SharePoint Online (cloud-based). Each option has its own advantages and considerations. Here’s a comparison:
On-premise SharePoint involves hosting the intranet infrastructure within your organization’s own data center. This option offers greater control over data and customization options. However, it requires significant upfront investment in hardware, software licenses, and IT resources for maintenance and updates.
SharePoint Online, part of Microsoft 365, is a cloud-based solution where Microsoft hosts and manages the intranet infrastructure. This option eliminates the need for upfront infrastructure investment and provides automatic updates. However, it may have some limitations in terms of customization and control over data.
Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Outsourcing SharePoint development can be a cost-effective and efficient solution for organizations that lack in-house expertise or resources. Here are some benefits of outsourcing SharePoint development:
- Access to Expertise: By outsourcing SharePoint development, organizations can leverage the expertise of experienced SharePoint developers who specialize in intranet development.
- Cost Savings: Outsourcing SharePoint development can be more cost-effective than hiring and training in-house developers. It eliminates the need for infrastructure investment and ongoing maintenance costs.
- Time Efficiency: SharePoint development agencies have streamlined processes and dedicated teams, allowing them to deliver projects within shorter timeframes compared to in-house development.
- Focus on Core Competencies: Outsourcing SharePoint development allows organizations to focus on their core competencies while leaving the technical aspects to the experts.
Custom SharePoint Development
While SharePoint offers a range of out-of-the-box features, organizations may require custom development to meet their unique requirements. Custom SharePoint development involves creating tailored solutions and functionalities that align with specific business needs. Some examples of custom SharePoint development include:
- Custom Workflows: Organizations can automate their business processes by creating custom workflows using SharePoint Designer or Microsoft Power Automate.
- Integration with Third-Party Systems: SharePoint can be integrated with other systems, such as CRM software or project management tools, to streamline data sharing and improve efficiency.
- Custom Web Parts: Organizations can develop custom web parts to display specific information or functionality within their SharePoint intranet.
- Brand Customization: SharePoint’s branding capabilities allow organizations to customize the look and feel of their intranet to align with their corporate identity.
Managed SharePoint Services
Once your SharePoint intranet is developed, it is important to ensure its ongoing maintenance, support, and optimization. Managed SharePoint services provide organizations with the expertise and resources to effectively manage their SharePoint environment. Some key services offered by managed SharePoint service providers include:
- 24/7 Monitoring and Support: Managed SharePoint service providers offer round-the-clock monitoring and support to ensure the smooth functioning of your intranet.
- Regular Updates and Patches: Providers keep your SharePoint environment up to date with the latest updates, security patches, and bug fixes.
- Performance Optimization: Managed services include performance tuning and optimization to enhance the speed and responsiveness of your SharePoint intranet.
- Data Backup and Recovery: Providers ensure regular backups of your SharePoint data and offer disaster recovery solutions to minimize data loss.
- User Training and Support: Managed services often include user training and support to help employees make the most of the SharePoint intranet.
Designing a future-proof intranet development strategy is crucial for organizations looking to enhance communication, collaboration, and information sharing within their workforce. SharePoint intranet development offers a range of benefits, and choosing the right SharePoint development agency is key to success. Whether you opt for on-premise or SharePoint Online, outsourcing SharePoint development or investing in custom development, it is important to consider your organization’s unique requirements and long-term goals. Additionally, managed SharePoint services can ensure the ongoing maintenance and optimization of your SharePoint intranet, allowing you to focus on your core business activities.