CFOs, CTOs, and CIOs often think of the primary direct costs when they evaluate their SharePoint-related IT budgets: user licenses, server maintenance, consultants, training, support desks, etc. For some, there will be several direct cost centers associated with implementation. But many overlook the indirect costs associated with a poor SharePoint implementation.
Weak SharePoint adoption can lead to multiple indirect cost areas:
- Delayed projects – project workflows can be delayed by reluctant SharePoint adopters who continue to rely on legacy processes. This creates a situation where team members who are collaborating and reporting through SharePoint must accommodate others who are working "outside". The time required to get everyone on the same page can hold up approvals, feedback, and other workflow steps. This can slow revenue capture and lead to higher project costs.
- Wasted training retention – although training expenses are considered a direct cost of SharePoint implementation, when trainees fail to retain knowledge – even after a few days – the cost of training becomes wasted. This unaccounted cost adds to SharePoint onboarding budgets.
- Talent loss – when employees become frustrated with enterprise tools, their productivity suffers but this can also lead to worker flight. Good talent will leave to find a better work environment. The costs associated with recruiting and retain quality talent are lost when SharePoint collaboration tools are not fully understood and employees decide to leave.
- Compliance costs – enterprises in the healthcare, government, banking, and other heavily regulated industries can suffer regulatory costs associated with poor SharePoint use. Employees who fail to follow document management and approval protocols because they don't recall the appropriate protocols can cost an enterprise in fines, rework, and more.
- Inflated IT costs – poor SharePoint implementation can expand IT budgets when support tickets for help with tasks compete with actual technical support issues. For on-premise tenants, IT infrastructure may need to grow in order to accommodate multiple data storage facilities as a result of using several productivity platforms.
- Product launch delays – product planning, development, testing, and release all rely on collaboration that can be driven by the SharePoint platform, but inefficient work processes as a result of poor SharePoint adoption stifle workflows while users fumble with using features like document libraries, communication tools, and apps. The cost of delayed product launches may be difficult to quantify, but they remain a part of revenue generating activities, and can rise with inadequate SharePoint implementation.
The good news is that performance support solutions like the VisualSP® Help System for SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint Online (Office 365) tenants are available. The VisualSP fully-integrated add-on enables users to access training and guidance while they are doing their routine work assignments.
Most SharePoint third-party solution providers don't discuss these indirect costs, but that doesn't mean they don't accumulate as frustrated SharePoint users lean on old processes to complete projects.
Bottom line? You may have thousands of dollars disappear because of poor productivity and a lack of efficient collaboration because users just don't retain training points or cannot quickly find answers to their most pressing needs while working in SharePoint.
If you would like to eliminate these indirect costs, take a free look at how the VisualSP Help System provides value with in-context help, and see how easily site developers and end users can get the help they need, when they need it.