No management solution is flawless. However, some are more productive than others. The less-than-perfect attributes can cause major problems such as document loss and security issues, which can be quite costly for an organization.
With that being said, this article will address two primary questions: Why do companies need an effective document management solution? Can SharePoint be used for document management?
In short, SharePoint can be used for document management. If you are searching for a better way to manage documentation, Microsoft SharePoint could very well be the answer. Document management isn’t the only benefit of SharePoint, but it is also great to improve productivity and establish a dependable internal communications tool.
Why do companies need a document management system?
The traditional document management method involves having a central location for storing tangible files, folders, and documents. In addition to being time-consuming, traditional document management must be done by a human, and it takes up a prohibitive amount of physical space. Consequently, most companies have “gone mobile” in recent years to save space and introduce automation into their workflows.
Moreover, as documentation has substantially increased from things like COVID-19 protocols (e.g., COVID liability waivers), legal requirements, and ever-changing industry standards, it’s now vital to implement an effective management system. On that note, cloud-based document management software is usually the best option for better accessibility, security, and overall convenience.
An unpredictable or unverified solution opens a company up to significant risk, so it’s important to rely on factors other than cost alone when choosing documentation software. Said risk involves the potential for cybercriminals intercepting information, documents being lost, or opening a path to criminal/civil liability for best practice violations.
What is SharePoint document management?
SharePoint document management allows users to manage and store a variety of document sets, including:
- Word documents
- Excel spreadsheets
- PowerPoint presentations
- OneNote files
Once you have SharePoint documents in the system, they can be organized in folders to be shared in customer engagement apps (e.g., Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Marketing). Integrating SharePoint with customer engagement apps allows you to create, upload, view, and delete documents directly from the engagement apps. Other capabilities include being able to track documents, adjust their properties, and set specific permissions for external users.
Furthermore, SharePoint has document libraries that allow users to share documents seamlessly and securely among team members. With SharePoint Online, a document library can be accessed from any device at any time of the day, and moving files within the library is made seamless through Microsoft’s drag and drop feature.
To stay updated on any changes, SharePoint offers an option to enable alerts for when a document is changed, moved, or modified. The alert can be for a specific list, folder, file, or list item and will be sent directly to your email.
The benefits of SharePoint document management
Automation and Collaboration
One of the most attractive features of using a cloud-based service like SharePoint is the ability to automate workflows and collaborate with team members. Automation within SharePoint is highly adaptable. Some of the most prominent features include the ability to automate document creation, routing, approvals, signatures, and feedback. Several users can make collaboration efforts simultaneously, and each user’s modifications will be automatically assigned a specific color. So, the team can see where changes are being made and by whom.
SharePoint can be integrated with any of Microsoft’s existing apps, which opens avenues for better collaboration efforts. Additionally, this compatibility is available across multiple devices, including mobile devices, for added convenience. SharePoint is also highly customizable, making it easy to change (or even eliminate) certain features to best suit your company’s needs.
SharePoint is very reliable in keeping your data safe. Server issues are rare, and SharePoint automatically saves different versions of your document data. For example, you can go back and access an older version of a document that’s since been revised. This is a great solution if you notice an error that needs to be corrected. Further, use can be restricted so that you can choose who sees documents that might be confidential.
With features such as document validation, documents are scanned for spelling errors, missing words, or missing signatures. SharePoint will automatically fix apparent errors or highlight questionable ones for users to fix manually.
If you already have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, you can save money by using SharePoint as your central employee productivity tool, which eliminates the need to purchase additional applications.
Many organizations still rely on company servers to store information, making it impossible to access data unless you are on-premises. With SharePoint Online, information can be accessed anywhere because data is stored securely in the cloud. When it’s well organized, proper document management can help avoid information overload.
Other functionalities of SharePoint
While SharePoint is certainly a great option for document management, it also has several other types of custom content. This includes the ability to create websites and manage projects (e.g., project planning, timelines, and viewing task status). These content types, like intranet pages, can be created and customized without knowing how to code. Overall, it has all the functionalities you could ever want or need in a content management system or intranet CMS.
Document management doesn’t have to be stressful. Physical document storage can tax a company’s resources but, these days, going digital is an excellent alternative. It offers better accessibility, security, and convenience to give your company the agility it needs in the twenty-first century.
To save some time and maximize employee engagement, consider using a third-party solution, such as Powell Intranet, to turn SharePoint into a complete intranet solution and not just a document management system. Powell Software is a Microsoft partner focused on improving employee performance by transforming your Microsoft 365 workspace.