Our client required a multi-site, secure, solution for sharing Office documents between users. As they were already on Office 365 for email, the included SharePoint product was the natural choice. As well as this, versioning was needed. If a document was overwritten multiple times, the client wished to be able to see changes (imagine Track Changes in Word, but so the user can’t turn it off). This client was also an FCA regulated business, so we needed to be sure that any proposed solution did not breach any FCA recommendations for data security. Most IT Solutions we provide have a mantra of “allow the user to do anything unless there’s a reason not to” – for a regulated business, it’s more “allow nothing, and only allow the user to do what they need to do”.
Sharepoint has long been regarded as a bit of a strange product in Microsoft’s suite. It’s a bit like marmite – you either love it or you hate it. In doing several Sharepoint Online deployments, we’ve found that the hate usually comes down to user education. Anybody that says it’s a simple as moving from your mapped X: drive is having a laugh – Using Sharepoint is a paradigm and operational change but a positive one if done well. For this client however, having confirmed with the FCA that this met the requirement they were ready to embrace this change.
Sharepoint has numerous auditing functions, which suits organisations that are legally responsible for personal data, as well as granulated access control – ensuring that the ability to see a document is restricted to those that need it. It’s also possible to audit log access of documents, moving documents, deleting items, backup recoveries, saving documents, searching the site and every event. This helps with compliance reporting, as it means that if (god forbid!) data is leaked, the organisation can demonstrate safeguards and personal accountability.
Any IT company can setup Sharepoint (perhaps not as well as us, you know? :-)). But where we stand out is, we’re there for the journey – from project inception to finalisation. You can develop a technology solution to do almost anything in anyway, but you must take your users with you. If we had a pound for every project that’s derailed because the users weren’t considered…. For this project, we had a key user group who were consulted and beta tested Sharepoint at every step of the way, ensuring that at ‘go live’, user champions were ready to help their colleagues.