Essential Guide

The pros and cons of SharePoint continue to divide users

This guide features articles and podcasts about the pros and cons of using SharePoint for content management and collaboration, along with expert advice for taking advantage of its features.


The pros and cons of SharePoint continue to pull users in different directions. Some companies have benefited from the new capabilities of SharePoint Online, while others languish in a mire of poor usability.

Despite maintaining a huge segment of the content and collaboration market, SharePoint has some major downsides. Organizations that have a well-established on-premises SharePoint deployment seem to have suffered the most, as their high hopes for the platform's evolving capabilities have been dashed. SharePoint has transformed in many ways since the 2010 version but it's clear that Microsoft has a long way to go in addressing usability issues and managing users' expectations.

This guide takes a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of SharePoint, from its promising cloud version, its new eDiscovery functionality and workflow capabilities, to the management gremlins that continue to afflict users. We also take a look at what users can hope for in SharePoint 2016. 

1SharePoint in the cloud-

The pros and cons of SharePoint Online

For companies that don't currently have an on-premises deployment, SharePoint Online can cut costs and provide a refreshingly simple approach to content management and collaboration. However, users accustomed to the on-premises version may find the cloud version too restrictive. Here we look at the pros and cons of SharePoint Online, users' reactions and some expert advice for deciding whether the cloud is the right fit for your company.


What tradeoffs remain between SharePoint Online and on-premises?

An expert explains that SharePoint Online may become more of a standalone product -- but for now, companies may have to use a hybrid model to maintain the functionality they need. Continue Reading


A direct comparison of SharePoint Online and on-premises features

Is SharePoint Online right for your company? An expert provides advice and a chart comparing the features of the two versions -- and whether or not certain shortcomings may be deal-breakers for certain companies. Continue Reading


The two sides of SharePoint Online

Why do some users love SharePoint Online while others seem to hate it? Continue Reading


Why hasn't SharePoint Online lived up to its promise?

For some companies, SharePoint Online has been a disappointment, and Microsoft has work to do to start gaining users' trust again -- especially among companies that already had an on-premises SharePoint deployment. Continue Reading


SharePoint Online gains on the on-premises version

SharePoint Online's features have improved since its original release – but are these updates enough to provide users the functionality they need? Continue Reading

2SharePoint drawbacks-

Can Microsoft resolve SharePoint's usability problems?

Despite the platform's widespread adoption, both the on-premises and online versions of SharePoint 2013 continue to have major usability problems. The articles in this section explain some of these functionality issues and explore how Microsoft may address them in the near future.


Companies wrestle with the SharePoint usability gap

SharePoint adoption continues to dominate as an enterprise content management system -- despite the fact that users often struggle to use it. Continue Reading


SharePoint Online Public Website feature is discontinued

New Office 365 customers now need to turn to third parties to support public-facing websites in SharePoint Online. What are the implications of this change? Continue Reading


Weighing the pros and cons of SharePoint BPM

When looking at the pros and cons of SharePoint BPM, consider the tradeoff between Office integration and the versatility of broader BPM tools. Continue Reading


SharePoint WCM in the cloud is missing some features

SharePoint Online can be a simplified, lower-cost option for Web content management, but SharePoint WCM in the cloud lacks some of the key functionality of the on-premises platform. Continue Reading


SharePoint Online search doesn't allow for customization

It's far more difficult to fine-tune enterprise search in SharePoint Online because you can break core functionality. Continue Reading

3SharePoint management-

Advice for making the most of SharePoint

While SharePoint 2013 has its downsides, companies will continue to use the platform. Here are some tips for making SharePoint a more valuable part of business processes, including how to handle two of the largest challenges facing all ECM systems: information governance management and content accessibility.


How to boost SharePoint Online performance

SharePoint in the cloud can be low-cost and provide ease of access to content, but performance can grind to a halt if users insist on customization. Continue Reading


How to enhance SharePoint 2013 search

While you can build search functionality into SharePoint 2013, consider key issues, such as user-friendliness of the interface and data privacy. Continue Reading


How to configure co-authoring in SharePoint 2013

Document co-authoring in SharePoint 2013 is somewhat easier than in previous versions, but administrators need to configure the platform correctly. Continue Reading


How to benefit from SharePoint workflow management

SharePoint BPM may be overshadowed by other BPM platforms, but its workflow management can bring efficiencies at a lower cost than its rivals. Continue Reading


How to build visual workflows in SharePoint

Editing workflows in SharePoint has become more intuitive, with Visio integration that makes it easier to alter the structure of business processes. Continue Reading


The dos and don'ts of SharePoint Online governance

A crowded, mismanaged SharePoint repository spawns sprawl, poor governance and usability issues. Governance is the only way out. Continue Reading


How to use eDiscovery Center across SharePoint and Exchange

When using SharePoint eDiscovery Center to perform e-discovery across SharePoint, Exchange and Lync data, keep a few considerations in mind to boost efficiency, improve search and reduce risks. Continue Reading

4SharePoint 2016 and beyond-

What does the future hold for SharePoint?

In general, enterprises are moving their business applications to the cloud. What does this mean for SharePoint? And what does the next version of SharePoint have in store? The articles in this section provide some answers for companies that are trying to decipher the SharePoint roadmap.


Is the SharePoint Online vs. on-premises debate over?

Microsoft is staking its future in the cloud. But if you are weighing SharePoint Online vs. on-premises, here's how the two differ. Continue Reading


What about the alternatives to SharePoint?

Some users will opt for different enterprise content management and collaboration platforms. Here are a few options. Continue Reading


Will OneNote make SharePoint a better collaboration tool?

Using OneNote with SharePoint can enhance SharePoint capabilities like collaboration and data organization. Continue Reading


Microsoft announces SharePoint 2016 beta and details

Microsoft will release a beta version of SharePoint 2016, and claims it will feature better mobile, hybrid cloud and compliance tools. Continue Reading


What to expect in SharePoint 2016

How will SharePoint 2016 migrate users to hybrid clouds, and what's in store for integration with SQL Server, Power BI and Office 365? Continue Reading