my world of work and user experiences

December 31, 2013

Last day of 2013

Filed under: SharePoint — frederique @ 15:51

Ok, this is the last day of the calendar year 2013. I am certainly not implying that this is the last day of SharePoint 2013, although I have been hearing and reading a lot about the death of SharePoint this year. But rumours of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

Joel Oleson has a nice article listing the warning signs, but he also concludes SharePoint is NOT Dead and even on-prem is alive and well!

Most of the noise is about the on-premises version of SharePoint. I have seen slogans like “SharePoint is dead, long live Office 365”. But then SharePoint Online, which is part of Office 365, is still SharePoint… The noise about the demise of on-premise seems to be caused by the marketing drive towards the online version: the cloud is new and hot and we all should move into it. Except of course when we have an on-premise installation that has specific needs with respect to customization or security.

So SharePoint 2013 on-premises and online are not dead.
But on the other hand, I can’t say that they are thriving in all of their implementations, in all organisations that use them.

In some cases, the implementation is not optimal from a technical standpoint, for example:

  • Functionality and especially integration fail when the computers of the organization are still stuck with old versions of Office and Internet Explorer – IE8 can mess up your configuration in a big way.
  • Access to SharePoint Online from outside the organisation’s network is blocked for security reasons, negating the anytime anywhere principle.

But in most cases, the problem lies in the way SharePoint is used or rather: not used. For example:

  • People still send huge documents attached to e-mail, instead of putting it in the available team site.
  • The portal of a big company offered a lot of discussion and blog features, but hardly anybody said anything in there.

We can’t just build it and assume the users will come – this is a nice infographic about why enterprise social networks fail. Build it and they’ll come? It’s more like think about the users’ needs, engage the stakeholders,  configure the tool, show the benefits, coach key users and keep enticing them to come.

What a negative note to end the year on? No, this means that there are plenty of opportunities for improvement. We won’t get bored in 2014…

Happy New Year!

Tree of Light

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