Strategic benefits and drawbacks of SharePoint

In my last post ‘SharePoint governance strategy in action’ I covered how the strategy for SharePoint governance has to be very different to other publishing or collaborative tools.

You need to be clear why your organisation is using SharePoint and the benefits expected.  That will shape how tight or loose your governance needs to be.

Once you are clear on this, you then need to consider the strategic benefits and drawbacks for:

  • Restricting use
  • Encouraging best practice
  • Preventing problems

I will start with the benefits and drawbacks of restricting use of key SharePoint features such as SharePoint Designer and site administration rights.


  1. You control what is being used.
  2. You decide who uses a feature e.g. SharePoint Designer.
  3. You manage the level of autonomy each site owner has.
  4. You find out why someone needs to use a feature.
  5. You monitor costs for licences, users, servers, etc.
  6. You measure who is using what and why for reporting.


  1. You stifle innovation by not allowing people to test out ideas.
  2. You stop legitimate use by asking for permission to use features.
  3. You prevent people being able to share knowledge how they wish to.
  4. You may be unable to realise the maximum potential of SharePoint.
  5. You create unnecessary administration.
  6. You risk adding costs without any value to offset them with.

So you need to get the balance right with governance that gives you maximum value for the effort needed managing SharePoint.

I’d really like to hear about firsthand experiences dealing with these points/decisions and what tradeoffs you had to make.  More about how to encourage best practice in my next post.

11 responses to “Strategic benefits and drawbacks of SharePoint

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  2. Hi Mark

    Thanks for this lucid summation of a debate many organisatios are having at the moment. Highlighting the costs and admin burden associated with control is particularly helpful.

    Regards, Jo Ann

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