Did you know that more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 relies on Microsoft SharePoint 2010 worldwide? With offices all over the world, it’s more than safe to say that most of these companies never “close” when the day ends.
It makes sense for larger companies, especially ones that have global reach or deal heavily with customers and end-users, to choose SharePoint. These organizations, often in the finance, energy, healthcare, and legal industries, are responsible for personal and sensitive information, usually have numerous security restrictions and would balk at using, say, a cloud-based system.
While many small or “web-only” businesses seem to take to cloud-based collaboration tools, companies with security fears or those that tend to generate large amounts of reports and documents find themselves more comfortable with the proposition of a secure server, on which important data can be shared within a – once again – secure intranet or extranet. Across it all, user-specific access can be controlled by managers or other designated administrators, which leaves IT departments cheering.
Many larger businesses have already converted to SharePoint, but haven’t moved to leverage it to its greatest ability. Part of the reason may lie in how little time it takes to get it up and running – Denise Wilson, Senior Manager of Platform Engineering for Continental and the new United Airlines, was quoted in a related article, saying “We went from beta testing SharePoint  to implementing it in a matter of weeks…”
With so many benefits and opportunities for businesses looking to improve or maintain their document management, communication, partnerships and security, it will be interesting to see which industries will dominate the SharePoint scene in 2012.
In the energy industry, projects depend on many different people – contractors, subcontractors, engineers, suppliers, managers, and more. Not only do these people have their responsibilities and areas of expertise, they may often be separated by geography. These factors make the job of cooperating on large projects all the more difficult.
Whether it is construction, maintenance, drilling, research or logistics, these projects depend on reliable document management. All team members must be up-to-date and have constant access to timely, accurate information to ensure the project is on-time and within budget. As one of the most regulated industries in the world, the project must also always meet many requirements, such as health and safety.
SharePoint can provide the capabilities of several specific-purpose systems in one easy-to-use platform. Dedicated to organizing all documents in a logical, easily searchable dashboard, SharePoint allows team members access to group work on a user-specific basis. A team will be able to see the most recent version of reports, who has seen what, and the current status of items that are under review or waiting for approval. Used in an extranet form, this can prove especially useful when working with outside partners. SharePoint ensures that all members of a project are well-informed, and improve relationships, accuracy and security. Finally, being able to document and track the data and status of completed projects can prove an invaluable tool in improving business processes in the future.