SharePoint has quite a few benefits for large companies. More recently, the SharePoint Online offering has begun to appeal to smaller companies which could not previously afford the licensing costs of SharePoint Server on-premises.
SharePoint is traditionally used as a document repository that supports workflows and other features such as versioning. However, SharePoint is also a great platform to base automating your business processes and custom applications on. There are scenarios where SharePoint truly shines, and other areas that prove more difficult than beneficial.
• SharePoint Online is a great way to get users collaborating on documents and content.
• SharePoint Server can be leveraged to build custom applications without having to reinvent the wheel.
• SharePoint and Microsoft licensing can be confusing. There is quite a bit of information available here on how to make sure you have the appropriate costs estimated before starting a project.
• External sharing to a large number of public users is not a good fit for SharePoint or SharePoint Online by itself. 3rd party tools can enhance these experiences for users.
With SharePoint 2016, there are quite a few new features for Hybrid topologies. A Hybrid SharePoint environment is one that extends from on-premises into the cloud. Users will not have to worry which site to access, as the interface changes very little to the user.
SharePoint common usage scenarios:
• Public facing websites (SharePoint Server)
• Custom applications
• Document repository/versioning
To get started with SharePoint, it is always best to first determine what you would like (long term) for your business goals. Then, come back and see how SharePoint can solve those goals. For instance, if your business goal is to start a public facing internet blog website, WordPress might be the best fit. But, if you want to share inventory with users, etc. SharePoint might be a better solution. There are quite a few other tools out there, so ask around, see what is available, and allow your business to grow.