Whatever the size of your business, it probably produces more and more information each day. This includes email correspondence, calendars, documents, blogs, wikis, business records, multimedia content and a whole lot more.
In this form, information is unstructured which can present difficulties. Storage and retrieval become increasingly complex, as does the format of the information. This can cause the loss of documents, duplication of work, and reduced productivity. A solution is to invest in an appropriate Enterprise Content Management system (ECM), such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint. But what are the benefits of Sharepoint document management?
Improved access to information
Sharepoint is a business platform which manages documents, business forms and business intelligence. It enables a company to structure its information, which facilitates easier access. Coupled with an appropriate document retention policy, it enables the company to store information, retain it, and to use a powerful and fast search engine to interrogate it in order to find information quickly, which increases efficiency.
With so much information and paperwork either required or stored, employees can otherwise spend countless hours searching through the data. This slows down productivity, wasting valuable time. From a customer perspective, waiting for such information or feedback makes the company look inefficient, and its reputation may therefore suffer. In addition, the time gained in utilising Sharepoint’s powerful and fast search engine can be put to more effective use elsewhere.
Sharepoint can be used to create and monitor workflow. Everyday business activities can be simplified and tracked, and reporting mechanisms used, such as document review and approval. This streamlines business processes.
Team working can be facilitated by the use of Sharepoint’s team spaces where all the information, tools, and knowledge to fulfil the team’s objectives can be stored and easily accessed. This allows employees to co-author documents, control versions, establish and update progress, and crucially, it reduces the chance of work duplication. The quality of work produced and the level of productivity can, therefore, be improved.
In many organisations, when an employee leaves the company their knowledge and experience is lost with them. Sharepoint, however, enables valuable business knowledge to be captured and stored in a searchable database. The knowledge can then be retained and used by others.
Sharepoint allows an organisation to build and add applications and services. The ECM can, therefore, grow alongside the business.
Communities can be created, content can be shared and saved locally. Sharepoint’s flexible web server can also provide easy access to information by various end user devices.
Comprehensive control over content ensures that regulatory requirements are met. The establishment and use of security settings and initiation of storage and auditing policies, together with expiration actions, enables records to be controlled and managed effectively, in accordance with compliance regulations. Sensitive business information can also be managed, and the potential for legal problems can be vastly reduced.
If company information is managed by a product such as Sharepoint, efficiency and productivity are increased while the amount of paper and therefore physical storage required is reduced. Collaborative working is encouraged, and valuable knowledge retention is possible. These benefits reduce costs in the long-term. Using cloud hosting with Sharepoint server as the business platform can also reduce costs.