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August 20, 2013

Questions asked by SharePoint shops remain unanswered

by Anders B. Skjønaa (

Companies of all sizes have invested heavily in SharePoint technology over the years and with SharePoint 2013 now available, a lot of these companies are about to make even more investments in SharePoint. When working with these clients there is a movement towards a SharePoint strategic platform; where companies are implementing SharePoint as a global service and building a strong foundation for this service through SharePoint specific strategies and service roadmaps. This is all good and there is no doubt that this will make SharePoint an even more valuable platform – and a better investment – for the companies that are leading the way.

So  when discussing SharePoint with IT Management and Enterprise Architects we are trying to look into the future. We ask ourselves what role we want SharePoint to take in our efforts to deliver on IT strategy goals (roadmap with 1-3 year perspective) , but we must also look into what new opportunities we think that SharePoint will open for us on an even longer perspective. Unfortunately, there are a lot of “moving targets” in “SharePoint” these days and that makes it hard to plan very far ahead.

I really wanted to write a post where I could come up with a good answer to some of the questions we discuss in enterprise architecture sessions in many companies. But the truth is, that there are no accurate way to answer these questions currently, and making assumptions may cost you.

What I am trying to say is, that strategy advisors and SharePoint enterprise architects are currently in a hard place, regarding the future of SharePoint.  Here’s a few of the questions that people are struggling with…

  • What is going to happen to SharePoint on-premises as the product release cycle is adopted to “cloud first”?
  • What is the future of SharePoint when Microsoft is transformed into a services and device company?
  • Exactly what is the functionality impact if we choose to go all cloud?
    There are some obvious Search issues, but what about Managed Metadata, Integration and that sort of thing. Does these issues mean that we can rely on a relevant on-premise offering for years to come?
  • Is Yammer going to replace the SharePoint Social functionality – how and when?

Many people have ideas of where SharePoint is going in these areas. But without making any assumptions, we are not really able to answer these questions right now. The SharePoint world is changing, that’s for sure. Change is good, but in the current economy the uncertainty may be discouraging investments in upgrading or establishing new cloud initiatives.

What do you think?

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