Because SharePoint has so many capabilities that allow us to get a solution up and running very quickly, SharePoint customization is not something many businesses consider right away. With site templates, list templates, and native content types, it’s very easy to get a site going and have users collaborate on documents, entering lists, filling out forms, etc.

However, in times when you need more flexibility or specific configurations to meet your business objectives, SharePoint customization is the way to go. I don’t know how many times I hear someone say, “We want to stay with ‘out of the box,’” and then complain when they realize they’ve met only 75 percent of their requirements or goals. Now, I am not saying you should always use SharePoint customization to fill the gap. Just don’t take the option off the table… and here’s why.

The top 4 reasons to consider SharePoint customization:

  1. More often than not, with “out of the box” SharePoint, business requirements simply cannot be achieved. So if your company’s goals are to use SharePoint as the digital workplace that users are trained on and expected to use, then it would be a great idea to employ customization efforts and make your company’s SharePoint site a perfect reflection of what you want and need.
  2. SharePoint customization will improve your user experience and ensure adoption of solutions. Solutions in SharePoint may be as simple as an event calendar or as complex as an inventory management system. If a solution is hard to understand, clunky, or unintuitive to use, customizations can be applied to ensure users will use the solution and that it will be effective.
  3. Sticking to “out of the box” means that you’ll have to go through manual configuration to create and develop your SharePoint solutions. This can be a completely viable way to do things, unless you’re trying to create a solution that is instantiated in many sites. The total cost of time, training, testing, et. al. to manually create or update many instances is significant and may lead to frustration and slow adoption. Some SharePoint customizations exist to ensure consistency across environments and sites by eliminating human error, while others exist to ease the rollout of future enhancements.
  4. You’re able to add integrations to data or functions of other business systems to provide a single digital workplace for the user. For example, many major companies utilize SAP, a leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. And if all users need to be able to create a work request in SAP (which may be the only reason most would even use SAP), you might consider a custom Web Part to allow them to do this from the SharePoint site(s) they already go to regularly.

With each SharePoint release, Microsoft has been providing developers with more means to customize. In the past, most customizations were either server-side code or perhaps JavaScript-based scripts – both could be compromised by service packs or other updates. Now, with the SharePoint Framework, we can develop apps with a Microsoft-provided API that ensures compatibility with SharePoint.

SharePoint Framework

At FlexManage, we have the expertise to get solutions configured quickly and reliably, the skills to apply customizations to fill the requirement gaps, and (most importantly) we have the experience to recommend the best mix of approaches to meet and even exceed the ROI for your solution.

Drop us a line and we’d be more than happy to have a quick chat about your business’s needs and potential solutions.

Or CLICK HERE to get more information about our SharePoint Envisioning Program, which will walk you through the steps you’ll need to take towards getting the most out of your team’s SharePoint experience. During this program, we work closely with clients to build a unique vision for any SharePoint project.