ROI of a Site Provisioning Solution for Office 365

by | Oct 9, 2018 | Blog, Provisioning

Office 365 is a great tool for managing documents, communications, and ideas.  However, asking users to create or manage Office 365 objects can be loaded with risk and derailed by confusion. Many organisations have their IT teams make changes on behalf of their users, but that can be time consuming and tedious.  This is why many organisations consider a SharePoint Site Provisioning solution for Office 365.

The Value of Self Service

Office 365 is supposed to be easy to use and make collaboration easier.  Users should know best when there is a requirement for a new collaborative Site.  This could be because there is a new business area, or a new project is required.  Furthermore, if barriers exist to the creation of new Sites then users will turn to solutions such as Box, Dropbox and Google Drive.

The security risk associated with Shadow IT is certainly one of the big challenges facing CIOs.  This is why there is so much focus on self-service, empowerment and adoption within an Office 365 deployment.

The Cost of doing it Manually

It is very quick to create an Office 365 Group and Modern Team Site.  However, most organisations need additional configuration steps applied to the created Group and Site.  These steps might include additional Lists, Content Types Setup, Views Created, Web Parts Configured and Branding Applied.  Following these steps on an individual SharePoint Site could take from a few minutes, to a few hours or even a day.

There is a high risk of mistake if end users are required to follow all of the configuration steps once a Site is created.  Furthermore, can you justify your IT resources using their time applying the configuration steps, especially if there are multiple Site Requests a week?

Therefore, this is the value of a Site Provisioning solution.  It allows user self-service and ensures all the relevant organisation specific configuration is applied seamlessly in the background.

Why not just Build something?

There are lots of great blogs from the MVP community about how to build a Site Provisioning solution using Azure Functions or Microsoft Flow.  If you have your own development resources, you could easily build a solution based on these blogs.  Alternatively, you could engage a Microsoft Consulting Partner who could build solution similar to those proposed in these blogs.

If you are considering this approach to a Site Provisioning solution, then you need to ask yourself the following questions

  • Who will support the solution if it stops working and what is the cost of this?
  • What happens if the developer who wrote the solution leaves or your relationship breaks down with your Consulting Partner?
  • How will the solution be evolved as Microsoft change Office 365 and will it cater for new features?
  • Where will the solution be hosted and what is the cost to you of each transaction?

These risks and hidden costs are why ProvisionPoint 365 has helped a number of organisations migrate from such solutions.

Selecting the Right Solution

By this point you should recognise that purchasing an appropriate Site Provisioning solution delivers significant ROI.  It is important you understand your requirements and select the right solution for your organisation.  We believe organisations should look at the following criteria

  • Site Types – Office 365 is not just about being able to create SharePoint Sites. Do you need a solution which will support Team Sites, Communication Sites, Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams?
  • Features – What are the features which are most important to your organisation? Is it the need to Approve Requests? Manage a Site Directory? Implement Life Cycle Management?
  • Cost – It is important you understand the whole cost of any solution, including licensing, support and implementation services.
  • Roadmap – The value of choosing a product is that it will develop as Office 365 grows. Understand what new features are planned for the product and how as a customer you can engage with this roadmap.

We feel that ProvisionPoint 365 offers a compelling solution for all the above criteria.  If you would like to arrange a demo, please get in touch.