SharePoint Customization Leads to Greater Productivity

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 11, 2013


SharePoint, the Web application platform developed by Microsoft, can be an extremely effective tool for business collaboration. Experts believe that SharePoint adoption increases when business users can build their own code-free, custom solutions that streamline processes and enable them to be more productive. A new Dell survey of SharePoint users and IT professionals, conducted by Dimensional Research states that 61% of respondents said SharePoint is fully used in their organizations when business users are able to customize their experience, compared to 21% of those who do not allow self-service customization.

While SharePoint has been historically associated with intranet, content and document management, its recent versions have significantly broader capabilities. For example, SharePoint 2013 builds upon previous releases to better support to big data, mobile users and public-facing websites. It is used by a growing number of companies to create websites, store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device today with greater customization.

The recent research revealed that IT staff often can’t keep up with the overwhelming demand for customization and 83% of respondents said their organizations depend heavily on developers for SharePoint customizations. The majority of customization requests are for common requirements such as list views and reporting; charts, dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs); workflow; and forms. Only 12% of respondents find that customization requests are delivered quickly . Almost all respondents said it would be useful if business users could perform common customizations themselves. When these non-technical users try to make their own SharePoint customizations without the proper tools, training or custom development experience, however, the subsequent problems can hurt SharePoint performance, disrupt productivity, or result in solutions that are not easily supported and upgraded long term. Moreover, 71% respondents say a solution that empowers users to safely implement customizations without risk would reduce the burden on IT and free up technical resources for more strategic projects.

To that end, the Dell report offers some recommendations that can help SharePoint users - both technical and non-technical - to make their own customizations seamlessly.

Firstly companies are recommended to discover where user adoption stalls. For this they need to determine where business users are getting stuck in the customization process. You may find that users are getting stuck on requirements that can be easily solved with the right tools.

Secondly, companies need to assess common requirements. This would avoid them from having a confusing array of tools and instead find the right one that can address the majority of requirements.

Finally, it is important to know who can offer training on the use of SharePoint and also what kind of customization tools are available to them. According to the report, an easy-to-use, code-free solution that empowers users to make customizations accurately and quickly - and doesn’t require training or specialized skills - will improve productivity and cost savings.