Dell Software Offers Tips for Empowering Business Users to Embrace DIY SharePoint Customization
- A DIY solution enabling users to make their own customizations is crucial to driving SharePoint adoption and strategic project success
- Survey results show SharePoint is used fully when business users can self-serve
- 65 percent of respondents say SharePoint would be used more if non-technical users could make their own changes[FN]
- Best practices provide tips for IT on how to empower business users to make their own customizations that, in turn, reduce the burden on developers and drive strategic project success
Dell Software recognizes that SharePoint adoption increases when business users can build their own code-free, custom solutions that streamline business processes and enable them to be more productive. This belief is supported by the results of a recent survey of SharePoint users and IT professionals, sponsored by Dell and conducted by Dimensional Research, in which 61 percent of respondents said SharePoint is fully used in their organizations when business users are able to customize their experience, compared to just 21 percent of those who do not allow self-service customization. Additional eye-opening survey findings include:
- IT staff often can’t keep up with the overwhelming demand for customization and 83 percent of respondents said their organizations depend heavily on developers for SharePoint customizations.
- The majority of customization requests are for common requirements such as list views and reporting; charts, dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs); workflow; and forms.
- Only 12 percent of respondents find that customization requests are delivered quickly .
- 98 percent of respondents said it would be useful if business users could perform common customizations themselves. When these non-technical users try to make their own SharePoint customizations without the proper tools, training or custom development experience, however, the subsequent problems can hurt SharePoint performance, disrupt productivity, or result in solutions that are not easily supported and upgraded long term.
- 71 percent of respondents say a solution that empowers users to safely implement customizations without risk would reduce the burden on IT and free up technical resources for more strategic projects. Further, 65 percent say that SharePoint would be used more if non-technical users could make the changes they want.
SharePoint is an excellent platform for enabling self-service, do-it-yourself (DIY) customization that will help drive SharePoint adoption to a level that meets business needs, and free up developers for more strategic tasks. To that end, Dell offers both technology and the following best practices that empower all SharePoint users – both technical and non-technical - to make their own customizations confidently, without posing risk to the environment:
- Discover where user adoption stalls ─ Determine where business users are getting stuck in the customization process. It’s not uncommon for users to get so frustrated with SharePoint’s native limitations that they just give up and stop using it. You may find that users are getting stuck on requirements that can be easily solved with the right tools.
- Assess common requirements ─ Take a look at your customization backlog and determine what your users are most commonly requesting. Instead of having a confusing array of tools ─ i.e., one for each different type of request ─ find one tool that can address the majority of requirements.
- Provide users with a clear understanding of available tools and resources ─ Knowing who can help and provide training on the use of SharePoint is important for the user experience, but they also need to know what kind of customization tools are available to them, and how to request them. An easy-to-use, code-free solution that empowers users to make customizations accurately and quickly ─ and doesn’t require training or specialized skills ─ will improve productivity and cost savings.
- Adopt a DIY strategy that enhances the IT/business relationship ─ In many organizations, IT is increasingly viewed as being a bottleneck, not an enabler. SharePoint provides a common framework for users across the organization. By implementing a self-service customization program that empowers users to build their own solutions on their own timelines, IT can help build closer links with their business peers and gain a better understanding of what the business needs and wants.
Empowering Business Users to Customize SharePoint and Drive Adoption with Dell Quick Apps for SharePoint
- Dell™ Quick Apps for SharePoint is an easy-to-use, point-and-click tool that empowers users to create code-free customizations that are useful and engaging to them, in a way IT can support and maintain.
- Quick Apps for SharePoint enables organizations to meet business demand by solving a wide range of common customization requirements that are difficult, and in some cases, impossible to meet in native SharePoint, such as custom list views, charting and filtering information; creating forms and dashboards; and accessing external data (SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.com, etc.) within SharePoint.
- SharePoint succeeds best when users can build their own solutions that streamline business processes and make them more productive in their day-to-day jobs. Making SharePoint more useful and engaging to users is the most important factor in driving SharePoint adoption.
Chris McNulty, CTO, Windows Systems Management, Dell Software
“Embracing self-service, code-free customization in SharePoint yields significant benefits for both the business and IT. Business users and site owners know their own requirements. With the right approach, users can create the precise enhancements they need ─ faster than if the changes require IT involvement. The good news is that there are tools available that let business users customize and create the SharePoint experience that works for them, and in a way that IT can support long-term. This, in turn, will drive SharePoint adoption and free IT staff to work on the important projects only they are qualified to take on. By properly embracing self-service DIY customization, organizations can get the most from their SharePoint investment.”
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 The Impact of DIY SharePoint — How User Empowerment Drives Adoption: A Survey of IT Professionals, October 2013