You know that information drives your organization, but did you know that:
- An nonprofit with 50 people could save over $250,000 a year by reducing information
inefficiencies by only 15%?
- Each year the amount of information created in your organization is predicted to grow more than 65%?
- Staff waste as much as 26% of their time trying to manage information overload?
Source: Cutting the Clutter: Tackling Information Overload at the Source, March 2009, IDC White Paper
Where to Begin?
So how do you even begin to tackle this problem? What can be accomplished given your budget?
Microsoft SharePoint is a collaboration and document tool that can give you the ability to have all of your organization’s operating information in one place. It’s secure, allowing you to set permissions on who can see certain data and files. Once properly designed and implemented, it can save your team a tremendous amount of time.
Imagine having one place to go to find information and not having to search across servers or dive deep into folder structures that make sense only to those who created them. In addition, SharePoint offers great collaboration tools to get your team communicating and sharing their knowledge.
What size organization is ideal for SharePoint? The current 2010 version of SharePoint comes in three flavors—Foundation, Standard and Enterprise. Each can be hosted internally (on your organization’s own server) or in the cloud (on a vendor’s secure server). Each version can provide you a path to increasing levels of sophistication and can fit nearly any budget.
SharePoint Foundation, however, is well-suited for low-budget organizations. With Foundation, you get a place to store all of your organization’s information. You get great document management tools, including version control and check in/out, and you can receive email alerts when critical documents change. You can easily manage events in calendars and have social media functionality like forums, blogs and wikis.
In addition, Foundation permits you to create simple workflows for routing documents for approvals. If you need additional functionality, you have the option of purchasing add-on software products (known as “webparts”) from a variety of third-party vendors who specialize in SharePoint add-ons. These are relatively inexpensive and can often provide functionality that exists in the more costly editions of SharePoint.
Can SharePoint Fit My Budget?
If hosted internally, SharePoint Foundation is free with Microsoft Server Operating System. If cloud-hosted, depending on your storage needs, the cost starts around $2,500.
Of course, the technology itself is not the only cost. You need to budget for time and effort for your team to learn to use the tool correctly, and to move your data and files from their current location to SharePoint. Outside help through Microsoft’s partners is one way to get up and running quickly.
So make it a 2012 resolution to get control of your information before it controls you!
i-Squared is a 22-year-old professional services firm that specializes in Enterprise Content Management (ECM). ECM is the strategy, methods and technologies for managing critical information assets from creation through archival and destruction to provide a firm a competitive advantage.
We have developed a full ECM methodology and have helped our clients (Black Box, Alcatel-Lucent, and Matthews International to name a few) to realize increased collaboration and efficiencies and significantly decrease costs. While the technology plays a crucial role, we believe it is the content and our methodology and means for organizing that content that sets us apart from our competitors and provides our customers with winning and sustainable solutions.
We are a small, women-owned business located in Pittsburgh, PA. More information about our services and approach can be found at our web site www.i-squared.us. or 412-321-8214