Microsoft SharePoint is server-based software that you can use to centrally store all of your company’s files.
It makes it easier to find, organize, protect, and back up this data, and to comply with data control regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, and PCI DSS.
It can also increase collaboration between employees and make it easier for supervisors to monitor and manage their subordinates.
SharePoint is primarily used as a file storage system. Its file storage features include the ability to upload, download, move, copy, rename, delete, and search for files and folders.
The ability set permissions which allow you to dictate who can access which files and folders. And an audit trail which logs any changes made to any of the files and folders on the software.
SharePoint also has enterprise social networking and project management features, including “sites”. Sites refer to areas in the SharePoint software where teams of users can do the following:
- Post files and messages for each other
- Shared calendars
- Task assigning and tracking
- And management of personal profiles and blogs (where users can write about what they’re working on and how much progress they’ve made on these tasks, for example).
There are two main ways to deploy SharePoint: one is to host it on an onsite server at one of your offices. The other is to pay a hosting company to host it for you.
The benefits of IT hosted SharePoint
Paying an IT hosting company to host your SharePoint for you has a number of benefits, including:
Hosted SharePoint can be accessed from anywhere with any Internet-connected computer, tablet, smartphone, or thin client.
An onsite deployment of SharePoint, in contrast, may only be accessible from the same location as the underlying hardware. With hosted SharePoint, you can access all of the files that you would normally only be able to access at the office from anywhere, which can increase your productivity.
It also allows you to maintain a single, centralized database of all of your files that everyone in your organization can access, regardless of location. This makes it easier for employees in different locations to collaborate with each other, and also makes it easier to protect and back up all of your files.
Decreased IT management hassles
With hosted SharePoint, the hosting company will take care of installing and setting up the SharePoint software.
It will also take care of purchasing and maintaining the underlying hardware. In addition, some hosting companies will also perform the migration process for you for a small fee, and others offer “managed” hosting, in which they monitor, protect, update, back up, and support your hosted solution for you.
With your hosting company managing and maintaining your SharePoint deployment for you, you (and any IT employees you may have) can forget about basic IT management tasks and focus on other, more important areas of your business.
Increased security and reliability
Hosted SharePoint is generally more secure and reliable than an in-house deployment of SharePoint because hosting companies can afford to implement more advanced security and downtime prevention measures than your average business.
For example, hosting companies can afford to implement security measures such as:
- Around-the-clock monitoring and alarm response
- Enterprise-grade firewalls, IDS/IPS, and antivirus
- In-transit and at-rest encryption,
- And, at their datacenters, 24x7x365 security patrols, biometric access panels, locked metal doors, and server cages.
They can also afford to implement downtime prevention measures such as 24x7x365 monitoring and maintenance; redundant servers, networking equipment, Internet, and electrical power; RAID storage; uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and backup diesel generators; and geographically-separated datacenters.
Paying an IT hosting company to host your SharePoint deployment for you makes it easier to comply with data control regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, and PCI DSS. Since many hosted solutions come with so many security and data loss prevention features (firewalls, antivirus, encryption, backups, etc.) that they already comply with many of these regulations’ requirements with no further adjustments needed.
In addition, many hosting companies offer compliance hosting services, in which they’ll custom-build hosted solutions for you so that they fully comply with certain regulations.
To sign up for hosted SharePoint, simply contact your preferred hosting company.