4 Best Practices for Maximizing SharePoint ROI

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This article excerpt by, Chirag Gandhi, originally appeared here: http://bit.ly/1duY6Ol
When it comes to maximizing SharePoint ROI, many organizations, specifically in the healthcare industry, are only scratching the surface. 
Here are four key tips and best practices to help you reduce SharePoint total cost of ownership, efficiently operate complex models, use the tool beyond a content store, and use SharePoint efficiently without compromising security or violating regulations.
 
1. Save up to 40 percent by consolidating or eliminating legacy systems, dead websites and duplicate documents

Keeping sites that are minimally or no longer in use, content that is no longer used, and items that are duplicated is wasting space and forcing redundant work from the SharePoint tool. Identify unused sites and address data redundancy and save up to 30-40 percent in level-1 disc space. 
2. Get to know SharePoint’s built-in functionalities 

Apart from being a content store, SharePoint offers several functionalities for enterprise content management, collaboration, search-driven application creation, social engagement and business intelligence. Key functionalities include:
Portals simplify access as a single gateway to enterprise applications and allow the creation of a virtual desktop, which can be accessed from any device, at any location.
With Enterprise Search, users can sift through content, documents and external content stores. It can even be extended to include external applications.
Dashboards allow users to expose reports, key performance indicator metrics and other analytics in a simple manner to improve the visibility of performance indices.
While the built-in configurable workflows are fairly simplistic, by utilizing commercially available third party add-ons, the power and utility of workflows can be greatly enhanced to enable the creation of complex business process applications such as case management and clinical trial management.
By leveraging these functionalities, organizations can reduce the number of custom applications, time, effort and cost for their development and maintenance while improving and standardizing user experience and simplifying the enterprise technology sprawl.
3. Create a centralized SharePoint “control center” 

Organizations should have a centralized team capable of providing infrastructure, application development and maintenance support, along with an operating unit level analysis, training and administration team to support departments and projects.
SharePoint governance must span the entire spectrum of expertise from hardware and infrastructure to content management. These hyper-focused “SharePoint champions” and managers provide a cost-effective operational team that continues to address business needs and administer the environment.
4. Deploy a compliance policy reinforced by auditing and monitoring tools

We often see users inadvertently accessing and uploading documents containing sensitive data, which in healthcare can include patient data or protected health information. This violates security and audit requirements mandated by HIPAA and will get an organization into trouble.
As part of the control center mentioned, a person or team must be dedicated to designing and enforcing a compliance policy and best practices that ensure the system is managed efficiently and run in accordance with regulations.


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