Using SharePoint as an Intranet? STOP it NOW!

By Jasmine Long
February 6, 2024
5 min read
Blog
Intranet

If you still think using SharePoint as an intranet in 2024 is a good idea, it might be time to reconsider. Despite its appeal as a ready-to-go product, the reality is that it often leads to more problems than it solves over time.

When trying to create a modern intranet platform, you need to use modern intranet tools. The right software and the right integrations. If you’re still thinking “what’s wrong with SharePoint?” Well, here is exactly what’s wrong with using SharePoint as an intranet. 

Limited Customization Options

SharePoint’s customization capabilities are far from robust, which poses a problem for businesses that need a platform tailored to their specific operations. The issue here is that SharePoint comes with a set of predefined templates and functionalities that may not align with the unique processes and workflows of every business. This lack of flexibility can stifle a company’s ability to create an intranet that truly reflects its culture and meets its needs.

High Costs and Resource Requirements

SharePoint can be expensive to implement, not just in terms of licensing costs but also in the resources required to run it effectively. Companies often find themselves needing to hire SharePoint experts for setup, management, and troubleshooting, which adds to the overall cost. Or even worse. Your internal IT staff needs to take on this tedious and timely process which takes away from their daily tasks.

Poor Integration with Non-Microsoft Products

Many businesses use a diverse array of software solutions, and SharePoint does not always integrate well with non-Microsoft products. This can lead to significant inefficiencies. For example, the integration issues between SharePoint and OneDrive with File Explorer can be a source of frustration, often resulting in a disjointed user experience and reduced productivity.

Limited Social Networking Features

A huge drawback of using SharePoint as an intranet is the lack of a social media aspect. Social networking is the heartbeat of modern intranets. It’s how employees connect, collaborate, drive engagement, and share knowledge. But SharePoint? It’s like the early days of the internet where everything was static and interaction was minimal. In today’s dynamic digital workspace SharePoint’s social tools are just too rudimentary to foster a vibrant community. 

Scalability Issues

When you use SharePoint as an intranet, scaling is a nightmare. Growing businesses don’t just add more employees; they add more complexity, more data, and more need for seamless communication. SharePoint might start off fitting your needs, but as you scale, it can become a bottleneck. As we already mentioned, it will drain much needed resources and, in the end, the long-term ROI is just not there.

Security Concerns

Whether or not you like it, we’re all vulnerable to cyberattacks. Microsoft did, in fact, encounter a breach involving several of its products, including SharePoint, just last year. It’s important that existing software complies with the strictest of industry standards and regulations. Some company intranets do just that. The risk with Microsoft is that it’s a massive company, which makes them a target. Not to mention, SharePoint is not the primary focus in terms of Microsoft’s overall business.

Lack of Mobile Optimization

We live in a mobile world. Your employees need to access the intranet from their phones and tablets just as easily as from their desktops. SharePoint’s mobile experience often leaves a lot to be desired. It’s like trying to navigate a website that isn’t mobile-friendly; you can do it, but it’s going to be a hassle.

Slow Innovation and Updates

In the tech world, standing still is moving backwards. SharePoint’s innovation cycle can be slow, leaving you steps behind the latest trends and tools. It’s like using last year’s smartphone; it works, but you’re missing out on the latest features that could make a real difference in efficiency and productivity.

Performance Issues with Large File Volumes

Managing massive amounts of files with SharePoint can prove to be challenging. Users are hitting a wall with nearly 300k files clogging the workflow. The result? It’s more than just a nuisance; it’s a productivity nightmare. Crashes, endless “Looking for changes” loops that leaves employees watching spinning wheels instead of completing tasks. This isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s a serious impediment to the daily operations of any business, and it’s a clear-cut case of a tool that isn’t up to the task at hand.

Challenges in Permission Management

In a setup where access needs to be meticulously defined across various levels and groups, SharePoint can become overwhelming. The complexities multiply when you’re trying to implement a structure that’s both granular and broad, providing tailored access through a cascade of group memberships. It’s not just about setting permissions; it’s about foreseeing how these permissions interact and overlap. 

Complex and Unintuitive Site Management

For those new to the platform, the experience can feel overwhelming. Ideally, a newly created site should be easy to find and access. However, these sites tend to blend into the background of SharePoint’s complex structure, making them difficult to spot. One might think that being the owner of a site would mean it’s readily accessible, but that’s not the case. 

These sites don’t just pop up in your SharePoint list; you have to actively search for them. Finding a new site often means hunting down the correct URL, a frustrating endeavor that can make even the toughest IT veteran feel lost.

Inefficient Permission Setting and Group Management

SharePoint’s insistence on using its own Office 365 groups throws you off course. It’s a tug-of-war between the familiar, structured world of AD groups and the new terrain of Office 365 groups that SharePoint champions. 

Even when you navigate to the advanced security settings—the compass by which you hope to chart your course—you’re met with a baffling scenario: groups that disappear or are mislabeled, settings that don’t stick the first, second, or even third time they’re applied. It’s a dance of adding, refreshing, and re-adding that

Conclusion

As you weigh the pros and cons of maintaining your digital workspace, consider stepping away from the familiar path of SharePoint. There’s a world of alternatives out there, like Intranet Connections, that could align more closely with your company’s unique requirements. 

These platforms can offer a more seamless, user-friendly experience with dedicated support that understands and caters to your specific business needs. So before you commit to the status quo, take a moment to envision a smoother, more efficient intranet journey with a solution designed to empower your team and simplify your processes.

By Jasmine Long

Jasmine is passionate about harnessing the power of digital marketing to drive social impact. She previously was the Communications Assistant at Jumpstart Refugee Talent, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating employment opportunities for refugees in Canada. She is currently the Marketing Coordinator for Intranet Connections!