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M365 – How to get your ROI: Document Management

by Jamie Lawrence : Move

How many places does your organisation hold documents? Chances are its multiple places – file stores, network drives, OneDrive, SharePoint Team sites, and maybe even physical stores and so on.

The more places you hold documents the harder it becomes to collaborate, to share files, to use time productively, to stay secure and to minimise the risk of making decisions with bad data.

So how do you collect feedback, co-author, or approve documents? How do you collaborate and share information when out and about, or in multiple locations? How do you have strong version control, share inside and outside your organisation seamlessly? How can you use meta-data to surface documents quickly and easily – making your information easily searchable?

Many organisations have turned to or are looking at an expensive document management system (DMS) or off the shelf SaaS solutions to solve this issue. The irony being that after the huge shift to Microsoft 365 most organisations have a DMS ready and waiting to be enabled with their current Microsoft 365 licences – SharePoint Online.

SharePoint, when correctly configured, allows organisations and users to take advantage of a myriad of features as well as integrate seamlessly with collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams.


With SharePoint your documents are not only secure, but you can share them with individuals or teams, inside and outside your organisation. Security settings (permissions) can be set to global, team or even individual file level.

For example, a HR file can be shared with a single employee only. A folder can be shared with external clients or customers. Different sites can have different permissions meaning they can be kept read only for certain users, editable for others. Files without permissions can be hidden from searches ensuring only the right people see the right documents.


One of the biggest grips about a document management system is that it doesn’t make life easier for the end user. Manually categorising data, having to stick to predefined naming conventions or even working out how to find a document – without having to read its contents.

SharePoint allows you to configure pre-defined metadata that can be automatically assigned to documents, even allowing them to be shared across different departments. It encourages users to ensure an underlying standardisation to your organisation


Metadata also gives the added benefit of making it incredibly easy to find and surface documents that are relevant to each user, department, or even project that is being worked on.

A McKinsey report* into employee productivity found that the average employee spends 1 hour every day just searching for documents.

McKinsey Img

This is wasted time when a correctly configured DMS can make finding and searching for documents a matter of seconds, rather than hours.

Retention, disposition, governance, and architecture

Data needs to be handled in the correct way. When to dispose of it, when to keep it, who can view it and who can’t, can have costly ramifications to your organisation. Having an automated system takes the headache out of these issues, offers an audit trail and traceability that is all managed by SharePoint. These can be easily configured to the needs of your organisation

Return on Investment (ROI)

Using SharePoint as your DMS allows you to maximise the use of your M365 licences. This means you can remove costly third party DMS as well as remove the need for costly backup services. SharePoint’s strength in data handling as well as its secure control means that your recurring costs are removed. It also acts as a data repository than can be used to leverage other parts of the M365 world, such as dynamic intranets, and business intelligence.

It allows your organisation to handle data, in a secure, compliant manner and most of all, in the way that suits how your organisation work.

Firms that leverage M365 on average save 27% on their annual costs° and with the right configuration an extra 14%**

Document Sharing & Collaboration

Document sharing should be simple and easy. Physical files are now just a bottleneck to productivity and digital documents should be making your organisation faster and more efficient. SharePoint allows you to manage document feedback in a MUCH smarter manner.

You can save a file to a document library (from any location with the mobile app) giving you anywhere, anytime access. Workflows, permissions, and approvals means that multiple users can read and edit the file in real time.

With a centralised document it means that your organisation can easily facilitate co-authoring. This means multiple people can work on the document at the same if they need to, or you can lock down sections that users are working on and update once changes are made.


Have you ever been working on a document only to realise it wasn’t the latest version? SharePoint’s versioning feature helps you keep all your version histories within a single document. New versions are automatically added to a list each time a document is saved. You can even roll back to previous versions if needed. It’s the simplest way to take out the human error from document versioning and ensure everyone is on the same page.

If you’re interested in discussing your M365 journey, please call one of our business consultants on 01628 401800 or click the request more information button below.

*Does Your Workforce Spend Too Much Time Searching for Information - ProProfs

° Google Apps vs. Office 365: Trends in Cloud IT (

**Office 365 License Optimization Report | CoreView

Deltascheme O365 Roadmap