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Older versions of SharePoint

Older versions of SharePoint

Continuing to make the most out of the older versions of SharePoint

Hopefully one of the above logo’s (or more?!) is familiar too you and that you have one of these platforms deployed inside your organisation.

Though it’s easy to get caught up in the media marketing and sales pitch that surrounds SharePoint 2013, the latest update released by Microsoft provides an evolutionary not revolutionary update to this popular platform.

It’s true older versions of SharePoint can simply be upgraded to the latest offerings from Microsoft, be that into cloud (Microsoft’s Office 365 and traditional hosting vendors) or continue with on-premise deployments. And of course there are solution integrators like ourselves as well as other partners and third party tools to help with this activity.

But more often than not there needs to be a compelling business case to do so, especially those who have just moved to SharePoint 2010. Sometimes the new features can drive this, other times factors such a introducing a new capability or service for the business can drive a upgrade or introduction of the latest version of SharePoint. But upgrades aren’t always an option open to all.

Indeed we have several customers who have only recently moved to SharePoint 2010 last year. Some are some are still on SharePoint 2007 (and older versions!). Hence moving to SharePoint 2013 just isn’t on the agenda for these and will not be any time soon, for many different reasons. Nor for that matter is moving to the cloud an option, sometimes for technical or budgetary reasons but more often than not its political or cultural challenges.

For these situations, there is a huge need to derive further value with the investment already made in SharePoint. Making it do more, to introduce new capabilities to do things smarter, more efficiently or just to simply exploit existing features you perhaps never knew where there or have simply hadn’t the business need to enable (even though you are licensed for them perhaps).

The maturity model for SharePoint deployments that we experience as system integrators is very familiar in that typically an intranet has been rolled out, and in some cases maybe an extranet. The next step is what we’ve been mentioning in our past posts here and here which is to further utilise and explore the platform as a framework for other business applications. These examples offer a great way to leverage the platform for further benefit without necessarily being on the latest version.

So the key message is that you don’t necessarily have to be on the ‘latest and greatest’ to derive further benefit from your existing investment in SharePoint. But you should absolutely be using some of the latest thinking, best practices and methods for managing change on it, that has evolved during the time that SharePoint has gone through it’s iterations. This knowledge, together with experience in all of the SharePoint versions, including the cloud offerings is key for us as a partner, to be able to advise and guide customers down the most appropriate route to take.


Andrew Walmsley



The business case for SharePoint 2013

The business case for SharePoint 2013

So what does the business case for SharePoint 2013, Microsoft’s latest release of its popular software, look like? Well, it depends, (as always!).

Hopefully you’re not reading this with a blank piece of paper trying to write a business case for using SharePoint in your organisation, as this article isn’t going to going to give you a bullet pointed template to fill in (sorry!). It presupposes you’re reading this because you are interested in making a current business case stronger, so that it has a greater chance of approval by the key stakeholders and will help your business derive more benefit from the investment you’re making.My SharePoint business case - blank piece of paper

Most SharePoint related business cases we come across are aimed at a fairly narrow scope. They are typically worded along the lines of the ‘replacement of an existing intranet’, ‘adding a new extranet capability’, ‘introducing better collaboration internally’, or more recently (and what could be a growing trend over the next few years with SharePoint 2013 capabilities and new licensing model), is your going to ‘build your public facing web site on SharePoint’.

Some of the underlying drivers that are forcing upgrades from SharePoint 2007 and to a lesser extent SharePoint 2010 platform, are because your intranet is no longer ‘fit for purpose’, based on older technology that isn’t meeting the needs of the business for mobile working, can’t support the growing ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) trend, or support you in the collaborative working practices you’re introducing or the business wishes to work more collaboratively with its customers or suppliers.

Whatever the situation is, the business case for SharePoint has always been a difficult thing to pin down with tangible, financial metrics demonstrably showing how it will save a business money. There are plenty of intangible metrics you can build your business case up with, (ease of use, faster time to find documents, people and other information, empowering users to work more collaboratively, support more devices, etc.). But these are not so easy to pin down with credible figures the budget owners will be seeking.

Arguably if you are replacing a different technology platform with SharePoint there maybe some tangible metrics around reduction in legacy license and support costs, disinvestment of older hardware that was end of life, etc. These will all help build up the solid business case for you and are worth seeking out in the first instance as they should be pretty easy to quantify.

How to improve the business case for SharePoint 2013

So in addition to many of the non tangible metrics we’ve discussed, the core business case for SharePoint can be improved by supplementing it with additional ‘mini-business cases’ to effectively reuse the new platform needed for the main project. These give you additional opportunities to seek out greater tangible metrics. These should then be explained within a 3-5 year roadmap put forward to support the business case document put forward originally.

The reason for this approach is that the underlying platform investment you’d originally scoped, will typically support additional business applications being created within it, especially those that can leverage the core capabilities the platform provides (think workflow, forms and business intelligence capabilities).

Some examples are:

  • Look at existing line of  business applications (especially those that are coming towards the ‘end of life or usefulness’,  that can be re-purposed to work on the SharePoint platform you are putting forward
  • Mandate that all new IT projects have to consider deploying new solutions via the SharePoint platform. This could be that they are designed to be completely built on SharePoint, use 3rd party add-on or simply surface its information via it to the users
  • Look at the wider feature offerings the SharePoint platform brings that are often overlooked especially those in the enterprise licensing category. This could the forms or workflow capabilities or in particular the powerful business intelligence features that come in SharePoint 2013 (and previously SharePoint 2010)
  • Look at the new capabilities in SharePoint 2013 search – built on FAST technologies. These could open up new opportunities for you to build ‘search driven applications’ within your business, that essentially surface within a SharePoint page or portal, specific information from a variety of content sources automatically, without the need for you to individual search for it.
  • Look at the new enterprise content management (ECM) capabilities for delivering content to different devices (think PC’s, Ipad, Android or Apple mobiles) all from the same content that is created.

Some common business applications (outside the usual intranet and extranets) that can be built in or delivered via SharePoint are:

  • Project management applications
  • ISO document managements
  • Catalogues
  • Health and safety applications
  • Risk management tools
  • Knowledge management portal
  • Support portal
  • Training portal
  • Document imaging repository

All of these new applications that are planned as part of your roadmap should start to surface some new tangible and non tangible metrics to support the business case for SharePoint 2013. And whilst may not gain the complete budget approval at that stage, (there may well not be enough known about each roadmap item to sufficiently cost it in at that stage),  it will earmark a wider programme of work that that this business case will underpin.

From our experience, a degree of compromise may be needed in terms of meeting all of the business requirements using SharePoint for each one of the above. But if you can get 75-80% of them met with SharePoint with a little additional investment around the design, build and support of these new solutions, (but no additional capital investment as such), that’s surely worth considering with the business and key stakeholders.

Hopefully the above will give you further ideas to help you make the business case for SharePoint 2013 more robust, and ultimately help foster a business case that is owned by the business, with the support of IT (and not the other way around).

Important note: Have in mind as you are putting forward the SharePoint architecture and hardware/software investment, that you will need consider addition workloads beyond the main use of the new intranet, extranet or public facing web site to ensure you are not going to impact on the boudaries and constraints the current design will innevitably have. ‘Scalability’, overall availability and robustness of the service in terms of environment, governance and support must all be factored into the planning and design steps you undertake. You should also consider phasing in additional capabilities as part of your roadmap, as described above to help the business case move through the approval gateways.

We’re happy to help you do this, contact us if you need further assistance with any of the above.


By Andrew Walmsley


SharePoint User Experience – HBR Blog: Don’t Confuse Engagement with User Experience

SharePoint user experience

With 5 versions under its belt, Microsoft has finally given its flagship collaboration platform a much needed bit of love and attention for the SharePoint user experience and importantly user engagement aspect of its product. More on this in future posts.

SharePoint user experience improvements

Fig1 On the left for those that don’t remember or who have not had the pleasure, SharePoint Portal Server 2001 and on the right is SharePoint 2013.

Harvard Business Review Logo

We did find this blog post over on the Harvard Business Review (HBR) siteby Michael Schrage brings an interesting correlation to many SharePoint projects out there, where sometimes too much focus has often shifted away from delivering business value and engagement, to making it ‘look nice’.

As this blog argues, the UI you put in place shouldn’t be at the expense of user engagement.

A key issue we think however is that SharePoint has suffered historically from little ‘engagement and usability focus’ when it built by Microsoft, up to and including the current SharePoint 2010 platform arguably. This has led to the platform not being intuitive to use and exploit for business value without a lot of hard work, often customisation and or a lot of end user training. The out of the box experience can feel a bit ‘clunky’ at times.

With SharePoint 2013, Microsoft have clearly started to address this with a much improved focus around the user experience and engagement.

For more information on the changes you can expect to see in SharePoint 2013, then do get in touch with the team here to discuss further.

By Andrew Walmsley


BIG Data, Collaboration and Search in SharePoint 2013

Search in SharePoint 2013 is going to be a key feature

WorkShares attended Comperio’s seminar ‘BIG Data, Collaboration and Search in SharePoint’ in London recently, with Microsoft and a host of others presenting around the general topic of enterprise search in SharePoint and the challenges today’s organisations are facing.

Comperio are respected as experts on search driven solutions and search enabled business models, who use Microsoft FAST search technologies.This makes them one of the growing organisations who have specialised in a particular area of the behemoth that is now SharePoint, or as we once called it a ‘business applications framework’ several years ago.SharePoint Search, Fast Search

Some interesting independent analyst thoughts also came from MSDM advisors regarding the past, present and future systems that have been put in place to handle the huge information generated and accumulated by businesses. Enterprise search isn’t going away as some would have you believe.

Why should you be interested in FAST technologies?

Well firstly FAST search at present is a enterprise class search technology, that can be used independently or as part of your SharePoint platform to greatly improve the value the information and importantly results that are presented to your users. With the right advice and guidance, the search experience can deliver measurable results and improve the way people interact with information from your internal (and or external) to your business. The search which comes with current versions of SharePoint is all too often left ‘as is’ out of the box. As a consequence it suffers from lack of forethought, management and ‘tweaking’ to deliver the information your users are seeking, often to the detriment overall in the value and adoption of the intranet or site on the whole, as they don’t feel it has sufficient value for them to come back.

For example, how often have you done a search in SharePoint intranet and it returns lots and lots of documents?…great…but what you really wanted was a ‘subject matter expert of a specific topic that isn’t necessarily going to be in a document, that you need to then go on to open, to find the author,  only to discover its out of date and they have left the organisation? Why not return a page where a range of information sourced from different parts of your other systems (think current HR,  CRM and SharePoint perhaps) and results are displayed along with presenting you with key subject matter experts and their contact details? Or why not just present people based information only, so you can interact with them directly, rather than trawling through dozens of documents?

Secondly and crucially as part of the next release of SharePoint (SharePoint 2013), Microsoft announced at the SPC12 conference (SPC12) that FAST search was being included within the SharePoint platform as standard, with no addition license costs. This is a significant improvement over the current capabilities provided by the generic SharePoint search, not to mention a big reduction in license costs.

Search is definitely going to be a key feature in a lot of the future SharePoint based intranet, extranet and public facing websites. For more advice and information about how to make the most of your SharePoint search investments, do get in touch to see if we can help you solve a particular business problem with our range of SharePoint subject matter experts.

By Andrew Walmsley


Sending documents securely from SharePoint

Sending documents securely from SharePointSending documents securely from SharePoint (All versions)

Historically making the content and in particular documents stored on the SharePoint platform you’ve invested heavily in for your intranet, available externally isn’t cheap or easy to do and can take quite some effort to plan out.

It can typically lead to a whole new set of SharePoint and associated infrastructure, licensing and development costs and finding budget for this can be challenging. Not to mention a plethora of additional networking infrastructure hardware & software, plus governance and security policies that will be in front of you also.

Is there really a solid business case to support this additional investment? Possibly. Do you really need all of the functions SharePoint provides for collaboration. Possibly. Or do you look at cloud services like Yammer (which Microsoft recently bought) to provide more social focused communications between you and third parties? Increasingly, yes…(see interesting infographic).

All these have their place, but in some cases you may be happy with just making it easier to send documents directly from inside SharePoint securely to external parties, and not necessarily need the collaborative tools wrapped around and within SharePoint. Yes you can do this in email now, but its not necessarily the most efficient process, or secure and its quite cumbersome series of steps to actually do this.

We met with Pro2col recently to understand where there could be some synergy between some of their products and services and how they could potentially fill this potential gap in capability. Pro2col have worked with companies of all shapes and sizes to tackle their data transfer challenges and provide comprehensive solutions that help them to increase productivity and enhance data security throughout the business.

One such capability targeted at on premise deployments of SharePoint offers secure and simple to use file transfer capabilities through the Biscom and GlobalSCAPE products, which provides integration into the SharePoint platforms. This is certainly something worth considering for your basic file transfer needs with your on-premise deployments of SharePoint.

Whilst it doesn’t necessarily remove the need to carefully plan and invest in additional networking equipment to facilitate this, it does make it a whole lot easier for your end users to send your files externally, securely and without opening up the whole of your SharePoint platform to external users.

So if you have need to simply send documents securely from SharePoint intranet site internally, to a third party externally then give James a ring at Pro2col. For more complex needs where you will need to put in place SharePoint as an extranet, for example to take advantage of it’s collaborative features, then do get in touch with the team here to discuss how we can help you.

By Andrew Walmsley


Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 follow on

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012


There were some 250+ session spread across three audiences – Business Decision Maker, Developer and IT Pro. These are all listed on the site for anyone to see at Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 site. With having so many sessions to go too, inevitably you had to make some hard choices in what you went to see in the allocated time slots during the day. Thankfully all the sessions were recorded to video and the PowerPoint presentations used were made available the following week, (though I note, to only the attendees at this stage).


It arguably offered something for everyone though perhaps not as ‘deep dive’ in some areas as was perhaps expected by us and some of the other partners and customers who attended. This was disappointing and hopefully this will be addressed in future conferences, and reduce some of the overlap in other areas. We saw quite a lot of focus ‘in the cloud’, social and Yammer, but little on other equally important areas like on-premise, (architecture considerations for example of the new services), Infopath, records management and general licensing changes difficult to determine what SharePoint 2013 would hold for these areas from the available sessions. Perhaps we’ll find these areas from the videos/PPTs we’ve yet to work through on the sessions we couldn’t attend, but in speaking with other attendees the feeling was the same. Even a simple series of headline statements within a session on ‘what’s new’, ‘what’s the same’ or ‘what’s been removed or depreciated’ would have been useful.

Finally, the wider benefit of these events was the networking which was available in abundance, not least during the day from the attendees and speakers alike, but in the many events that were put on by vendors and or Microsoft. This together with the opportunity to win various prizes including the much discussed (though strangely not that evident from Microsoft themselves!?) new Surface tablet. We think Microsoft could have won some ‘brownie’ points here with attendees by offering some form of discount on these devices (or some of their other hardware, Xbox, Mouse, Kinect, Keyboards?) at the conference, but it was not to be. A missed opportunity perhaps.

Facilities and logistics feedback

The event took place at the Mandalay Bay hotel which is a huge hotel and conference centre along Las Vegas Boulevard, just overlooking the main airport. So it was an ideal location to get to and from. It provides a high standard of accommodation and general facilities, which means our stay was very comfortable. Catering to over 10,500 attendees, sponsors and vendors isn’t a small undertaking but in general we thought it was well delivered. So a big thanks to the hotel and conference organisers in general here.

Logistics around the sessions worked reasonably well with useful break periods to catch up and take in a coffee or water. Despite the well-publicised problems with Wi-Fi that plagued the early days of the conference, we felt the organisation went reasonably well. Some of the sessions also suffered from ‘demo failure’, which is a shame but suspect this was linked to the wider wi-fi issues mentioned. I think also without labouring a point, some of the speaker’s presentation skills and in general content depth could have done with being somewhat better thought out and practised.

The evening events organised by Microsoft also seems well thought out, as well as those provided by the vendors that we attended.

Las Vegas is simply a city that thrives on entertainment and you had so much going on outside of the conference there that we couldn’t see, and hence it really warrants a second visit perhaps. Smile


Key take-a-way’s (What you should be interested in)

Licensing changes = improvements in the licensing (i.e. removal of SharePoint for Internet Sites) will make it a much more attractive proposition for public facing web sites. More on this soon once we determine the final impact.

Content Search Web Part – a very powerful feature, linked with the analytics that is built within the search technology now will prove a sure winner here. It however remains to be seen how this will be licensed as it wasn’t clear at the conference.

FAST Search technology now included in SharePoint search by default – A long time coming, removing the needlessly high licensing barrier the current platform had for many customers.

Improvement in the User Interface (UI) – At last, something that is usable for our end users! Great to see it catching up with some more modern and intuitive design here. It will however be quite some headache from a training & adoption process for existing users we feel.

Shredded Storage – Quite a complex topic, but could in certain scenarios see significant savings in the amount of storage your environment needs. The storing of only binary changes in the content you’re saving is welcome news.

Enterprise Content Management – Improvement here are long overdue, and should make SharePoint much more competitive with other web content management applications.

Apps Store – This is an interesting new area, with lots of things yet to be made available from Microsoft as to how this will function for 3rd party vendors.

Access Services – This area has seen a big investment and now arguably has some overlap with Infopath services in respect of forms input, but essentially is along the lines of creating an Access database, storing and accessing it inside SharePoint.

Yammer – is here…some limited integration in the short term for cloud versions of SharePoint, lowering prices significantly by 80% as of this month, with future integration in to the wider Office platform planned.

Future gazing…

In general there is a lot more to discuss in future posts around the key themes of Social, Mobile and Cloud, which is where essentially Microsoft have placed their bets on growth areas with SharePoint 2013 and beyond. Social improvements are so significant in SharePoint 2013 that it really will provide organisations with a ‘Facebook’ style interface for many areas where the user will interact and communicate with their co-workers, though it remains we think unclear as yet with what will happen here around Yammer and how this will work together coherently with SharePoint in the future.

Cloud is obviously where Microsoft have put their money and in a big way. The general updates in the product, which are getting much closer to ‘on par’ with the cloud offerings are pretty impressive, but more evolution than revolution. Realistically we think on premise will continue to be where most of our customers wish to remain. But clearly for some, the move to the online offerings from Microsoft and associated partners (localised perhaps to a geographical location) will be an increasingly attractive model many business will find hard to ignore.

By Andrew Walmsley


We’re going! SharePoint Conference 2012

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012

Some of the team will be attending this year’s main event in Las Vegas – Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012.

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012

We hope to meet up with others during the week that we are there and enjoy what the event has to offer.

By Andrew Walmsley


SharePoint as a business application framework

SharePoint as a business application framework

We described previously that businesses should be viewing SharePoint as a business application framework rather than just a piece of software that ‘handles your documents’ or as I once heard it called ‘it’s just an intranet application’!

SharePoint as a business applications framework Indeed, it provides an underlying application development and ‘hosting’ environment in which to provide a repository to store your organisations information. As the image opposite depicts, the forthcoming latest release of the platform (SharePoint 2010) is much more than a document repository; It’s a powerful framework for building and hosting powerful business applications, building communities and providing a rich repository for your organisations information.

It therefore provides an opportunity for applications to be bought, configured or developed within SharePoint in a way to solve many of your business challenges, improve efficiencies with the way your staff work together collaboratively and potentially reduce costs associated with your IT budgets.

SharePoint’s’ intrinsic strength is that it can provide a data repository (in the form content databases stored inside Microsoft SQL Server) for many of your business applications, (both existing and new ones being considered) reducing the need to invest in separate hardware, licensing and on-going support.

SharePoint applications

Generally speaking along with the usual applications SharePoint is used for, such as an intranet, extranet and internet web facing sites, it can also be considered for the following, to name but a few vertical and horizontal business applications:

  • Project and programme management applications
  • Marketing campaign applications
  • Product catalogues
  • Discussion forums
  • Research applications
  • Reporting workspaces
  • Document imaging application (using scanners)
  • Training and self-help portals
  • *List based application (client contacts and knowledge management applications for example)
  • *Workflow based applications
  • *Forms based data entry applications.

*Any application that is likely to involve creating or updating ‘multiple or single lists’ of data may also need to have a search or filtering mechanism applied. Many existing Lotus Notes or other so called complex applications are based on these three types in one form or another and hence should be considered for migration across into SharePoint.

Applications being provided by existing bespoke ‘client server’ based architectures may also be hosted within your SharePoint environment. Granted, some level of compromise is often needed, but it’s at the very least worth investigating with your stakeholders as to whether there would be advantages in migrating these applications and making them more accessible and arguably reducing your overall costs in the long run by the use of ‘shared services’ provided by SharePoint.

Which is why when looking for specific or custom applications to fulfil a particular set of business requirements, it’s worth looking to your existing investment in SharePoint to see if this can be extended to provide the functionality you need. Or indeed consider using SharePoint as your unified underlying platform for introducing several applications you may be considering implementing independently of each other.

Real world examples

Example 1:

An example of this can be seen with the combining of existing document imaging solutions within your SharePoint framework. Your existing print & scanner equipment can be used to capture, store their content (typically tiff or pdf files) into your SharePoint environment. These in turn can automatically tagged with metadata, indexed and provisioned via a searchable or filtered interface making it available for a wider audience, using workflow, etc. Such a real world example of integrating the technologies would be the scanning of customer correspondences, incoming mail or other ad-hoc scanning requirements. This reuse of your investment in both scanning and SharePoint is good example of combining complementary technologies”

Example 2:

Another example would be that of porting your Lotus Notes applications into your SharePoint intranet. Many so called ‘Notes applications’ are actually just lists of information stored in Notes. These can be migrated and sit perfectly well within the comparable feature set in SharePoint. That said, don’t underestimate the challenges when it comes to “document migration” from Notes, as it’s notoriously difficult, especially with often complex workflows to migrate. There are 3rd party products available to help here, such as AvePoint, Mainsoft and Quest.

Ideally your original SharePoint architecture should have considered the need to provide additional applications and been built accordingly to handle such change. If it didn’t, then you need to carry out a full review and plan the architectural changes required to accommodate them – Do not under estimate the issues here and research this area thoroughly, as it could lead to additional overarching architectural changes, hardware and or software purchases.


So in summary, SharePoint is much more than a document repository; it’s a powerful framework for building and hosting powerful business applications that will help your staff manage their information better and more efficiently, helping your business to achieve its strategic goals. So whether its 2003, 2007 or even the soon to be launched 2010 version of SharePoint, plan the deployment or changes well in advanced so that it supports your business needs in the future.

By Andrew Walmsley




Keep your SharePoint and IT strategy in sync

 Why it’s important to Keep your SharePoint and IT strategy in sync

So why is it so important to keep your SharePoint and IT strategy in sync? SharePoint has matured in recent years to become pretty good at being an ‘all things to all people’ platform, or as I would prefer to refer to it as a ‘business applications’ framework.

The introduction in SharePoint 2003 of ‘Windows SharePoint Services (WSS), licensed as part of the Windows Server 2003 operating system as a ‘free’ download, was also a clear master stroke of licensing by Microsoft.

WSS provides arguably a good, robust and rich set of all be it simple document management services that would serve many small, medium and to some extent large enterprise businesses well on its own. Indeed this is where many businesses started off in the deployment of the earlier versions of the software, without really knowing what they were getting themselves involved with.

SharePoint 2010 will continue to provide a compelling ‘one size fits all’ approach with its attractive feature set that cuts across both intranet, extranet and internet boundaries

This ‘all things to all people’ theme is set to continue with the next release, SharePoint 2010. Earmarked for a spring time release, it will continue to provide services and functionality that will meet in my view, a large portion of an organisation’s generic solution application needs very well, though other more specific requirements clearly not so.

Like its predecessor in SharePoint 2007, the next version (called SharePoint 2010) will provide a compelling ‘one size fits all’ approach with its attractive feature set that cuts across both intranet, extranet and internet boundaries. Not forgetting with this release is a persuasive, if immature, Microsoft Online ‘cloud based’ service offering, which is being updated on the back of their initial launch in 2009.

However, the ‘all things to all people’ statement has from time to time been its ‘Achilles heel’ in that it doesn’t do one function as well as customers expect or potentially need; Such as document management, records management, wiki’s, blogs, workflow and web content management, etc. Arguably these and SharePoint’s other core features have a raft of competitor products that if used independently, are far better.

But it’s important to remember that SharePoint was not and will not be able to win in such side by side comparisons. Nor is it designed to compete in respect of ‘vertical’ based business applications or other specialist ‘line of business’ application software. A point often lost in the discussions and selection process undertaken with choosing an IT solution to meet your needs.

SharePoint is, if it isn’t already, part of those building blocks

To avoid these scenarios and ensure SharePoint is considered in the correct context, it’s important your strategy for its introduction, adoption and management is agreed and understood not just by those in charge of implementation and support, but by all senior stakeholders responsible for IT service delivery.

Furthermore I would advocate keeping this and overall IT strategy in sync. Why? Because more often than not your organisation will be using a growing mix of IT applications, hardware and software, and accumulated a range of skills and experience that your core staff retain and maintain as part of their role.

Hence your IT function has a vested interest in managing the associated costs with this heterogeneous environment. In addition there is, or rather should be a growing desire to simplify, be more responsive and introduce operational and strategic ‘building blocks’, which can aid the business achieve it strategic goals. Keep your SharePoint and IT strategy in syncSharePoint is if it isn’t already part of those building blocks. Even if it is used tactically now as a ‘point solution’ for a particular function like an intranet, SharePoint’s breadth of capabilities arguably demands for it to be considered in the wider context of your strategic building blocks.

In my next article I will write more on why it is the introduction of SharePoint technologies into your IT strategy is important and how you can further extend the investment you have made in SharePoint 2007 or are about to make perhaps in SharePoint 2010 later this year.

By Andrew Walmsley