SharePoint’s “out-of-the-box” functionality has been heavily promoted and this has convinced many that executing SharePoint is a simple, “plug-and-play” scenario. This impression has sent many organizations down the path of trying to implement SharePoint on their own, only to realize, after dedicating significant effort and resources, that they need outside expertise to plan how integrate SharePoint into their business and make it do what they really need and want it to do. To this end, below are just a couple of the most compelling reasons why engaging a consultant to help in your SharePoint implementation can be valuable:
To customize SharePoint beyond what you can do yourself “Out-of-the-Box”
Despite what you might think or hear, getting everything you want from SharePoint “out-of-the-box” is next to impossible. Almost without fail, SharePoint implementations require some level of customization to meet business requirements. Without access to resources immersed in SharePoint business use, development and configuration expertise, SharePoint customization isn’t necessarily an easy thing. In lieu of hiring a full-time internal resource to handle all SharePoint integration and custom development needs, organizations often look to external SharePoint consultants for support. Best practice is to engage a SharePoint consultant at the beginning of a SharePoint initiative to help define technology requirements aligned to business requirements and goals (ideally outlined in a SharePoint Business Case). This leads us to our next reason to hire a SharePoint Consultant …
To help define and develop your SharePoint strategy – both near term & long term
The “out-of-the-box” mentality mentioned above has prevented many organizations from taking a strategic approach to their SharePoint implementations. Despite the many easy to use, powerful features offered in SharePoint, it is important organizations don’t jump straight into executions without taking the time to do some upfront planning and strategy work. As discussed in my blog post Organizations Not Developing SharePoint Strategy before Implementing SharePoint, lack of upfront planning is common in SharePoint implementations and frequently hinders success. Thinking through why, how, where and what you intend to use SharePoint for from a business perspective, in tandem with technology planning and considerations are critical to a successful SharePoint implementation.
Organizations are often comfortable defining the business needs for SharePoint, but need outside assistance working through the technical considerations that go into developing a holistic SharePoint Business Case. In such instances they often look to SharePoint consultants for help.