Outsourcing SharePoint Development: Pros, Cons, and Considerations
SharePoint is a powerful platform for building websites, intranets, and collaboration solutions. It offers a wide range of features and capabilities that can be customized to meet specific business needs. However, developing and maintaining a SharePoint solution can be complex and time-consuming, requiring specialized skills and expertise.
Many organizations choose to outsource their SharePoint development to external agencies or service providers. This allows them to leverage the expertise of professionals who specialize in SharePoint development, while also freeing up internal resources to focus on core business activities.
Benefits of Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Outsourcing SharePoint development offers several benefits for organizations:
1. Access to Expertise
By outsourcing SharePoint development, organizations can gain access to a team of experienced professionals who specialize in SharePoint development. These experts have in-depth knowledge of the platform and can provide valuable insights and recommendations for building a successful SharePoint solution.
2. Cost Savings
Outsourcing SharePoint development can be a cost-effective solution for organizations. Instead of hiring and training in-house developers, organizations can leverage the expertise of an external agency or service provider. This can result in significant cost savings, as organizations only pay for the services they need, without the overhead costs associated with hiring and maintaining an in-house team.
3. Time Savings
Developing a SharePoint solution can be a time-consuming process, requiring extensive planning, development, and testing. By outsourcing SharePoint development, organizations can save time and accelerate the development process. External agencies or service providers have the resources and expertise to quickly build and deploy SharePoint solutions, allowing organizations to start benefiting from their SharePoint solution sooner.
4. Scalability and Flexibility
Outsourcing SharePoint development allows organizations to scale their development resources based on their needs. Whether they need additional resources for a specific project or ongoing support and maintenance, external agencies or service providers can quickly allocate the necessary resources to meet the organization’s requirements. This scalability and flexibility can help organizations adapt to changing business needs and ensure the success of their SharePoint solution.
5. Focus on Core Business Activities
By outsourcing SharePoint development, organizations can free up internal resources to focus on core business activities. Instead of spending time and effort on developing and maintaining a SharePoint solution, internal teams can concentrate on strategic initiatives and activities that drive business growth and innovation.
Drawbacks of Outsourcing SharePoint Development
While outsourcing SharePoint development offers many benefits, there are also some drawbacks that organizations should consider:
1. Communication and Collaboration Challenges
Outsourcing SharePoint development often involves working with a remote team or agency. This can introduce communication and collaboration challenges, especially if there are language or cultural barriers. It is important for organizations to establish clear communication channels and processes to ensure effective collaboration with the external team.
2. Quality Control
When outsourcing SharePoint development, organizations need to ensure that the external agency or service provider delivers high-quality solutions. It is important to establish clear quality control processes and standards to ensure that the SharePoint solution meets the organization’s requirements and expectations.
3. Security and Confidentiality
Outsourcing SharePoint development involves sharing sensitive business information and data with external parties. Organizations need to carefully evaluate the security measures and protocols implemented by the external agency or service provider to protect their data and ensure confidentiality.
4. Dependency on External Providers
By outsourcing SharePoint development, organizations become dependent on the external agency or service provider for ongoing support and maintenance. It is important to establish clear service level agreements (SLAs) and ensure that the external provider has the necessary resources and capabilities to provide timely support and address any issues that may arise.
5. Lack of In-house Expertise
Outsourcing SharePoint development means relying on external expertise for building and maintaining the SharePoint solution. This can result in a lack of in-house knowledge and skills, which may limit the organization’s ability to make changes or enhancements to the SharePoint solution in the future. Organizations should consider the long-term implications of outsourcing SharePoint development and ensure that they have a plan in place to address any future needs or requirements.
Considerations for Choosing a SharePoint Development Agency
When outsourcing SharePoint development, it is important to carefully evaluate and choose the right SharePoint development agency or service provider. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
1. Expertise and Experience
Look for a SharePoint development agency that has a proven track record of success and extensive experience in SharePoint development. Consider their expertise in building SharePoint websites, intranets, and collaboration solutions, as well as their knowledge of SharePoint on-premise and SharePoint Online.
2. Portfolio and References
Review the agency’s portfolio of past SharePoint projects and ask for references from their previous clients. This will give you an idea of the quality of their work and their ability to deliver successful SharePoint solutions.
3. Customization and Flexibility
Ensure that the SharePoint development agency has the ability to customize and tailor the SharePoint solution to meet your specific business needs. Look for agencies that offer flexible development options and can accommodate your unique requirements.
4. Support and Maintenance
Consider the agency’s support and maintenance offerings. Ensure that they provide ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure the smooth operation of your SharePoint solution. Look for agencies that offer managed SharePoint services to proactively monitor and manage your SharePoint environment.
5. Communication and Collaboration
Effective communication and collaboration are crucial for successful SharePoint development. Choose an agency that has clear communication channels and processes in place, and that is responsive and accessible throughout the development process.
6. Security and Confidentiality
Security is a critical consideration when outsourcing SharePoint development. Ensure that the agency has robust security measures in place to protect your data and ensure confidentiality. Ask about their data protection policies and protocols to ensure that your sensitive information is handled securely.
Outsourcing SharePoint development can be a strategic decision for organizations looking to leverage the expertise of specialized professionals and free up internal resources. It offers several benefits, including access to expertise, cost and time savings, scalability and flexibility, and the ability to focus on core business activities. However, there are also drawbacks to consider, such as communication and collaboration challenges, quality control, security and confidentiality concerns, dependency on external providers, and a potential lack of in-house expertise.
When choosing a SharePoint development agency, organizations should carefully evaluate their expertise and experience, review their portfolio and references, consider their customization and flexibility options, assess their support and maintenance offerings, ensure effective communication and collaboration, and prioritize security and confidentiality. By considering these factors, organizations can make an informed decision and choose the right SharePoint development agency to meet their specific needs and requirements.