What is the future of the SharePoint developer

IT job of the future: Sharepoint consultants earn 75,000 euros a year

IT consultants with a focus on SharePoint are currently among the most sought-after specialists.

Sharepoint consultants earn an average of 75,000 euros a year. There are numerous job offers, but hardly any applicants, the online job exchange Indeed found.

The company software Sharepoint from Microsoft controls and stores information and the collaboration between employees. It is therefore often at the center of the modern workplace.

Corona is rapidly bringing us closer to the world of work of the future. We collaborate, zoom, slacken, skype - and currently cross national borders primarily on the computer instead of on the plane.

The IT services business, which includes IT consulting, will rise to a turnover of 40 billion euros in 2021, according to a forecast by the digital association Bitkom. Only qualified workers are lacking. Six out of ten companies in Germany assume that the need for skilled workers in the IT sector will continue to rise.

The digital collaboration of entire teams has long been a reality in companies. Managers and teams manage and work on a wide range of projects, tasks, documents, set up meetings and discussion groups and carry them out. Centrally stored and constantly updated documents save time and facilitate collaboration. Especially since mobile working has become more common: 38 percent of employees in Germany at the end of January 2021 were occasionally, mostly or exclusively, working from home, according to a survey by the Hans Böckler Foundation.

The modern workplace: unthinkable without teamwork and the necessary IT structures

The more modern the work environment, the more future-proof. From small companies to large corporations, products from Microsoft are usually used. Sharepoint consultants, for example, provide advice on these. The consultants design working environments in and for companies based on Microsoft's Sharepoint software. Many companies depend on it extensively: for their information and document management, for the protection of their data, for processes and structures of work - such as cooperation with employees.

Those who apply for this job can expect an average annual wage of 75,000 euros - and there are hardly any competitors. This was the result of an analysis of the online job exchange Indeed. It analyzed 30 professions with an annual salary of more than 75,000 euros, in which the fewest job seekers are interested in comparison to the average views per job advertisement. The number of applicants for the job of Sharepoint Consultant is around 80 percent lower than for an average job. So if an average of 100 people are interested in a position listed on Indeed, it is 20 for Sharepoint Consultant.

"Companies that use Microsoft products can hardly do without Sharepoint when handling their documents," says Jonathan Huysmans, Modern Workplace Consultant at the IT service provider Net at Work in Paderborn. In mid-2017, according to Microsoft, around 250,000 organizations and more than 85 percent of the top-selling companies in the world (Fortune 500) had SharePoint as part of Office 365.

Huysmans supports customer companies in introducing Office 365 and Microsoft 365 solutions. “Sharepoint is of central importance here,” says the 34-year-old computer scientist who worked on this software for a few years on the developer side before switching to the consultant side ten years ago. "The demand here increased more and more," says Huysmans. He has been advising on the modern IT workplace for five and a half years. Sharepoint is part of it. Huysmans joined his employer Net at Work in 2017.

Consulting on Microsoft 365 usually begins with strategic workshops to clarify the customer's needs. "For example, some have all the documents that exist in the company stored on a central file server, but want all employees to be able to access them - even from their home office or on the move," Huysmans describes a typical requirement situation. "We define the necessary processes that are necessary for the migration of the documents in Sharepoint."

Everyday life of a Sharepoint consultant: workshops, analyzes, pilot phases, technical support

So that information can be quickly found and exchanged with one another, other Microsoft tools such as Microsoft Teams, cloud storage or Office apps are quickly used - "for cooperation, but also for the control and storage of information and existing knowledge in the company," says IT Consultant.

The Sharepoint web application is available in two versions: cloud-based as Sharepoint Online and the local version, which is individually tailored to companies, Sharepoint On-Premises. It can only be adapted to the updates that appear around fortnightly with great difficulty. Therefore, more and more companies are switching to the cloud-based version. Huysmans also advises on this migration.

In his day-to-day consultancy work, the workshop and the development of a concept are followed by the pilot phase in which customers test Sharepoint. “There is a lot of organizational work involved,” says Huysmans. “The employees also have to be involved.” The pure migration is uncomplicated. The companies therefore carry out the entire implementation themselves with the assistance of the consultants.

The main areas of advice for Huysmans are so-called governance questions, but also questions about the use of the cloud. "Governance issues, for example, revolve around who is allowed to create and control pages in Sharepoint, that is, who receives authorizations - internally or externally from people who do not work in the company," he says.

Data protection and data classification are further topics. “We also advise our customers on the best way to deal with stored data. Which data should be stored in Sharepoint and which not? In order to save capacities and costs, we recommend, for example, only saving those documents in the software that are actively being worked on. Otherwise storage space has to be bought. "

"The job title Sharepoint Consultant is currently changing"

IT personnel consultant Marcus Alexander Vogler sees the job of Sharepoint Consultant as the IT profession of the future. "What we conveyed most of all in 2020 are experts who are familiar with the modern workplace: with Office 365, Teams, Power BI and Sharepoint," is how he outlines the need for skilled workers. Since the economic situation, work structures and working environments in companies are constantly changing, the need for advice never ebbs. “There are currently 664 positions for Sharepoint Consultants on the Xing social network,” says Vogler.

As a senior team leader in IT project business at the personnel consultancy Computer Futures in Hamburg, he places IT specialists in the areas of infrastructure, cloud, devops, BI and SAP for companies. Sharepoint Consultants has been providing Vogler for eight years. This job was previously known as a SharePoint administrator, says Vogler. "Today, the name keeps changing in line with the wide field of application of the software."

Vogler sees an enormous need for skilled workers in this field. "In 2020, we placed most IT consultants with companies who are familiar with the modern workplace: with Office 365, Teams, Power BI and Sharepoint," he says.

Technically, Sharepoint is behind all Microsoft applications

"Since everyone started running into the cloud, this software has played a very large - and at the same time a subordinate role." Good to know: Sharepoint is technically behind all Microsoft applications. "The software is the platform behind Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Microsoft 365 and Power BI - this is where the data is stored," explains Vogler.

The job title Sharepoint Consultant as such will not be around for much longer. “The Digital Workplace Manager, for example. The companies are very creative out there, ”says Vogler. “It's about nothing other than the modern workplace. And that only includes Sharepoint as a part. "

If you want to dock here as an IT consultant, ideally bring a degree with you, says Vogler. "IT, chemistry, physics, at least business informatics, are particularly in demand with larger medium-sized companies and corporations."

Vogler sees the average annual wage of 75,000 euros determined by Indeed as a lower limit. "Many of our consultants receive an annual salary from 80,000 to 90,000 euros, freelance experts 100 to 120 euros hourly."

According to Vogler via LinkedIn, the greatest need is found in software companies, management consultancies, in the automotive industry, in financial service providers, telecommunications and banks. "This is where we place a large part of the Sharepoint Consultants", says the personnel consultant.

An IT expert friend, with whom Vogler likes to exchange ideas, has even more options than future job titles on offer: “He believes that the Sharepoint Consultant will soon be called Office 365 Architect, Office 365 Solution Expert or Office 365 Development Expert - or Modern Workplace Consultant. “Either way: It's an IT job with a future. Jonathan Huysmans has therefore bet on the right area.