Blog Post by Daniel Perklin M.R.S. Company Ltd.
The Key to Unlocking SharePoint User Adoption
Once a business decides to spend thousands of dollars on SharePoint 2013 licenses, they will take the time to set it up and then allow employee’s access. SharePoint 2013 is now ready to go and all the valuable information is loaded into it. So why do a lot of employees feel the need not to use it? This is a difficult question? Assuming that SharePoint 2013 is setup as per the companies plan, there is definitely one place to start:
SharePoint is not an application, but a platform. Most enterprises will need tens, or even hundreds of custom and/or out-of-the-box applications that each serve a different function and are used by people in different roles. This can be daunting to employees who are not “tech savy,” or understand “what” the applications are asking them to do.
This problem is made even worse if the information is available elsewhere, or if necessary information is spread across different systems. Since the typical employee seeks to get their job done as simply as possible while still producing quality results, a centralized/Integrated repository of information in SharePoint, is a good way of doing that. Make it difficult, all of those systems will naturally be used less intensely.
Integration is a must.
University students are a good example of a group whose day-to-day tasks are very information-intensive, and are directly evaluated and graded. As a result, they would be a great test case for the benefits of integrating systems.
I remember when I first started university we had a CMS for course content that was fairly rudimentary. Some of my teachers used it, some of my teachers used their department page on the school website, and others used public third-party services that they set up themselves. Some refused to put information online at all. The result was that, I barely ever used the school’s CMS, or the other pages for that matter. The stratification of information created a need for me to consult all of those systems, but the reality was I never became completely familiar with any of them. It is fairly simple to see how familiarity and necessity of use can drive user engagement.
Now, most schools utilize CMS’ to integrate all information, including syllabi, assignment details, due dates and calendars, announcements and emails, and online evaluations/quizzes. Students, out of necessity consult the school CMS and gain a familiarity with the system and its capabilities, as well as a habit of use. Teachers, then, make better use of the CMS because they know that students are also making better use of it. It’s a cycle.
The above example is why SharePoint 2013 is an excellent candidate for this role, in part due to its versatility. The potential for integration is virtually endless and even integrates other systems’ information in its search function. SharePoint can not only act as the central repository, but provide a better and simpler interface for accessing information from other systems.
In short (for all companies), if management wants widespread usage of SharePoint, they need to make SharePoint the main access point for their employees.
M.R.S. is a full-service, relationship-centric IT consultancy firm in Toronto, Canada offering our clients a compelling on-shore alternative to building and delivering best in class technology solutions. We bring experience, expertise and software development processes, refined during 35+ years of diverse client engagements, to deliver complete IT solutions that significantly improve operating efficiencies.