SharePoint: un-planned, under-developed and un-loved - but not un-popular

By Doug Miles posted 07-30-2012 12:44


The latest AIIM Industry Watch report is out today, and it has some great insights into the love/hate relationship between SharePoint and its users. We asked implementers if they thought SharePoint was the right decision for their business when they originally went for it. It would be easy to focus on the 9% who feel it was a poor decision rather than the 55% who are positive about it – although half of those found it tougher going than they expected. More interesting, however, are the 22% who "had high ambitions, but have only achieved basic deployment".

So when we asked, “What are your three biggest on-going business issues with your SharePoint system,” #1, given by 46% or respondents, is the lack of expertise to maximize its usefulness, closely followed at #2 by the lack of strategic plans on what to use it for and what not to – hence the “unplanned and under-developed” title to this piece. Of course, you could take this as a plug for the excellent AIIM training courses in this area, and you would be right. There is also a very strong intent shown in the report (54% of respondents) to bring in 3rdparty expertise and products to help develop their SharePoint functionality.

But what of the “un-loved”? Well, #3 and #4 ongoing issues are resistance from users committing their documents to SharePoint, and resistance to joining and contributing to collaboration and social areas. Now, to be fair, both of these issues could probably be leveled at any ECM system, and any social collaboration site, but SharePoint was supposed to have much more user-appeal than traditional ECM systems.

Despite all of this, SharePoint continues to be popular, but not necessarily as the “ECM across the enterprise” we often visualize, nor as “ECM for smaller businesses” which was once the marketing concept. It’s best to measure adoption in a generic survey, rather than one that is dedicated to SharePoint, and we did this in the Process Revolution Industry Watch in February.

83% of the largest (5,000+) companies have SharePoint in use but only 45% of 10-500 employee organizations. Across the board, 70% of “users” are not using it as their primary ECM system, and only  8% say SharePoint is their first experience of ECM – 10% of the smallest and 5% of the largest. Similar numbers consider it to be their only ECM system, although a further 16% say it is their most widely used system. Either way, it’s certainly not wall-to-wall SharePoint for ECM in general. When you look more closely, most organizations have a confusing mix of traditional ECM, vanilla SharePoint, and SharePoint add-ons and integrations.  

#SharePointstrategy #Collaboration #ElectronicRecordsManagement #ScanningandCapture #SharePoint #SharePointissues #SharePointAdoption



08-06-2012 12:23

Doug, interesting study but perhaps even more interesting are the reasons behind the numbers. 55% of the respondents felt it was the right decision while 8% felt it was as poor decision – compare that to your third bullet in the “Key Findings” that 68% of the implementation decision were made by IT while only 8% were made by the user community (actually, in “Job Roles” p. 21, only 6% of the respondents were LOB exec., dept. head or process owner. Is there some correlation here?
Also, in the “On-going Issues” p. 4, 46% felt a “Lack of expertise to maximize its usefulness” is the biggest on-going issue and almost 40% felt there was a lack of strategic planning. Is that tied to IT making the decision without involving the user community?
It is difficult to actually make an assessment because of the mix of respondents since only 6% of the respondents are from the user community (Job Roles, p. 21) and it would appear that the user community was not fully involved in the strategy or the decision to use SharePoint.

08-03-2012 12:07

Doug: Sounds like a great study. The info you've received about SharePoint usage being all over the map is similar to what I've been hearing about its use as a document imaging repository. SharePoint has certainly not become the be-all and end-all that many pundits predicted. But, it is also certainly having an impact. I think the costs of effectively deploying SharePoint for mission-critical processes was badly underestimated at first and it's turned out that while SharePoint can certainly be used for imaging apps, in many cases, it's not the most efficient solution.