Though Microsoft has added new features to Office 365 — replacing some SharePoint functions — many businesses still choose to cling to the legacy system.
Despite Microsoft adding new services to Office 365, businesses still see the value of SharePoint, and there has not been a significant decline in use.
There are some concerns from SharePoint administrators about its future, especially since some Office 365 features and services replace SharePoint functionalities, including the following:
- Flow replacing SharePoint workflows;
- PowerApps replacing InfoPath;
- PowerBI replacing PerformancePoint;
- Office 365 Groups replacing email-enabled lists and calendar apps;
- Teams replacing workspace templates; and
- Forms replacing basic surveys and forms.
Still, despite the success of these new Office 365 functionalities and increased adoption by business users, there are several reasons why businesses cling to SharePoint.
Here are five areas where businesses continue to see the value of SharePoint.
1. SharePoint is the gateway to the digital workplace
Businesses consider SharePoint a one-stop shop for all enterprise content, as it provides employees a centralized place to locate any relevant information stored within the platform. Such information can include the following:
- third-party links to benefits, banking, vendors and external portals;
- important documents, such as HR policies, IT how-to guides and other digital files;
- daily, monthly and other relevant reports; and
- interactive forms for paid time off requests, production verification, IT service requests and more.
This digital workplace highlights the value of SharePoint in being the go-to for employees to interact with and retrieve content necessary for their work.
2. SharePoint is still the best location to capture data from forms
Microsoft introduced PowerApps as an alternative to InfoPath, but users find it easier to interact with forms within SharePoint — especially since it does not require the installation of any additional apps like PowerApps does. It also offers the convenience of having the forms as webpages.
Some of the forms that many businesses rely on and use within SharePoint include HR requests, IT requests and new employee hire forms.
3. It’s all about the search features
Companies continue to face challenges when organizing their digital files. They are generally scattered across network drives and server folders, so finding the right document quickly can be time-consuming and difficult.
But, with SharePoint content search, employees can take advantage of SharePoint’s ability to index and tag files based on content. This search capability continues to be one of the biggest selling points of SharePoint. Users can locate any file that is stored in SharePoint by doing a keyword search and use different filters to narrow results based on dates, content types and authors.
4. There’s nowhere else to put all the legacy content
Even though Office 365 offers features that replace some SharePoint functionalities, none of them addresses one of the key functions that SharePoint brings to the table.
Company announcements, important links, contact lists, HTML pages and a slew of other content can’t be put in any of the new apps or services that Microsoft has introduced. Many businesses find this makes SharePoint the only viable option for highlighting this information.
5. Only SharePoint has versioning functionality
Content versioning is another SharePoint functionality that many companies need. This feature enables business users to track multiple versions of documents, such as legal contracts, policies and other important business documents using SharePoint document libraries. So far, no other tool within the Office 365 suite offers anything similar to this.