It is early into the SharePoint Conference and all indications point to another successful event!
Working Tahoe’s exhibit booth (#234), I am excited to talk to conference participants – ranging from senior business and IT executives to SharePoint architect and development professionals. We’re hearing many attendees asking similar questions, and some common themes are already emerging. One prominent question we hear: what are some ways organizations can ensure SharePoint meets the needs of the business?
Based on real-world experiences with our clients, there are a number of critical items that organizations must consider before they can realize SharePoint’s most powerful benefits. Companies must acknowledge and accept the fact that today’s workforce expects more from their technology:
- To always be connected
- To be allowed the freedom of mobility
- To experience an environment that they enjoy
Once an organization embraces this new paradigm, SharePoint becomes much more than a user productivity tool – it becomes the enterprise platform for changing the way people collaborate and perform their day-to-day business. In addition to its inherent capabilities and features, SharePoint is the right platform for:
- Combining structured, unstructured, and social data
- Redefining business processes from transactional to collaborative efforts
- Eliminating organizational barriers and accessing the right people and information from across the enterprise to drive innovation, improve productivity, and positively impact bottom line performance
To ensure that SharePoint meets the needs of the business, and becomes that enterprise platform, organizations must:
- Develop an appropriate strategy and roadmap – one that aligns itself with the goals and objectives of the business, and is continuously refined to reflect changing conditions and priorities
- Outline a corresponding governance strategy – one that addresses the business processes, the information, and the technologies (SharePoint and others)
- Craft an appropriate user experience strategy to match the expectations of the user base, generating the momentum and excitement needed to drive success
- Plan an appropriate adoption strategy to bring everything together – usability drives adoption, and adoption drives innovation and productivity
For many of our clients, SharePoint is at a crucial point in the maturity lifecycle. It started out as a user-productivity tool, gained some excitement, and now has grown out of control, manifest in issues such as:
- Redundant or corrupt data throughout the environment
- Mismanaged sites across organizational units, departments, and even teams
- Security and compliance issues around every corner
- Poor adoption rates
- Users abandoning the platform because of loss of confidence
Spending this week at SharePoint Conference, I am constantly reminded of how important it is to get back to the basics:
- A defined strategy and roadmap – with specific initiatives (scoped in reasonable timeframes that demonstrate progress and benefit on a continuous basis) that move the organization from current-state to a desired future state
- A strong governance policy – providing appropriate freedom without creating bigger issues for the company
- An automated compliance method – not only keeping things in check, but also creating a learning environment so the organization can grow and refine as they mature in this new way of collaborating and performing work
The journey won’t be easy but the ship has sailed – there are lots of great examples of how and how not to navigate down the path to real collaboration.
More from Vegas as time permits!