It is a fact that, any technology upgrade is always justified on the basis of ROI from a productivity perspective. Keeping that in mind, below are the top reasons jotted to justify why people should upgrade to Microsoft SharePoint 2013 sooner rather than later.
1. Improved Document Management
The new drag-and-drop functionality of SharePoint document libraries in Microsoft SharePoint 2013 is just great as uploading documents in previous versions have always meant a lot of clicking. This is a big change from using the file share where you just drag and drop off your local machine. Though there was “Open in Windows Explorer” option, it was pretty slow.
Again, in Microsoft SharePoint 2013, SkyDrive Pro is a new feature to take your content offline and replace SharePoint Workspace (used to get documents in SharePoint) which often was unpredictable and had document library scalability limitations. The experience of taking your documents offline has also been improved by simply clicking the “Sync” button. This is much more of a “drop box” experience that is being adopted for its ease of use in businesses.
2. Easy Sharing
Ease of sharing files via e-mail attachments or through Sky Drive or Dropbox was one of the critical reasons Microsoft SharePoint doesn’t get adopted as a document management system. In Microsoft SharePoint 2013, a new concept of “Share” has been introduced which really takes the effort out of security management for business users (though needs to be thoughtfully managed to avoid the possible mess), by simply nominating the user or group and what permissions with two clicks. Requesting access to a site now has a lot more traceability too, so if you go back to the site after you have requested access, it will detail who the request is with now.
3. Polished User Interface
Comparing Microsoft SharePoint 2013 with Microsoft SharePoint 2010, people will realize it is a significant change over what is now available. Less is more is the theories being applied in cleaning up certain interface options. Removing some of the options like “Site Actions” and replacing with settings component icon, having the getting started “Modern UI” tiles being front and center – but more importantly removable – getting rid of the useless photo that survived both Microsoft SharePoint 2007 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010 in team site template! It feels like a more polished, “user first” user interface.
5. Enhanced Social Features
We all know that Facebook and Twitter are the pinnacle of social and have been around for a long time, and with the release of Microsoft SharePoint 2013, some of the user experiences have been introduced. The biggest additions are the “@” symbol to look up people to reference in social activity updates, the new communities with badges, and the ability to follow not only people but also documents, sites and tags.
6. Robust Search
People spend most of the time trying to find documents and it’s known to everybody that No matter how good the information architecture is built; information doesn’t always get put in the correct place. SharePoint Search enables people to discover information quickly, and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 enables people to find things much more quickly with quick document previews in the web browser, much better search refiners on the left-hand side, and slight improvements like “view library” and “send”.
7. Improved Managed Metadata
In Microsoft SharePoint 2010, the major addition was certainly the Managed Metadata service to allow people to tag content with the taxonomy of terms. This is a huge area for helping to improve discovery of content by searching and refining by terms. Although the user interface hasn’t changed, there are a number of improvements – such as being able to follow terms from a social perspective. The other addition is the ability to have properties associated with terms, which has been introduced to have navigation driven by term sets.
8. Website Policies
The site policies allow you to send email notifications to business users if their sites were not accessed for a set period of time. This really helps business users who are accountable for sites and need to clean them up over time. This was really a “pester” email, and there was no real reflection of which sites were out of policy. In Microsoft SharePoint 2013, the site policies now trigger SharePoint workflows that can be the custom build and have various configurations for handling inactive sites.
9. Improvements in Web Content Management
Running internet facing sites on Microsoft SharePoint has been around since Microsoft SharePoint 2007, but didn’t really improve in Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Having said that, it is clear that there is a great focus on WCM for Microsoft SharePoint 2013. From a business productivity perspective, this will benefit to internet facing site authors and internal sites (where there is a need for these advanced publishing features). Improvements in embedding the video directly into pages, much shorter URLs, and the ability to have better multi-lingual and multi-device support means that your site i.e. Intranet, Extranet will work much better.
10. Superior Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence continues to evolve in Microsoft SharePoint 2013 with improvements across the board in Excel client, Excel services, PerformancePoint services and Visio services. The in-memory capabilities of Excel client now allow business users to pull data from various sources and build amazing sheets in minutes.
11. Apps and the Marketplace
Apple really opened the door for independent developers to build applications and then to efficiently market, sell, and distribute those applications to a mass market. Microsoft has certainly taken note of the sales model and, with both the release of SharePoint 2013 and the introduction of the Office Store, SharePoint developers can now edge in on the app marketplace action.
Various apps can easily be added to your SharePoint site via Microsoft Office Store to increase productivity. The new app model takes the risk out of customizations from an upgrade perspective and allows for much more flexibility than the sandboxed solution model.