Identification to Adoption: ''Can a company afford not to be on the cutting edge?''

By Nicholas Inglis posted 11-23-2011 10:11


I recently attempted to answer a question on Quora about when Microsoft would be adding microblogging functionality to SharePoint “out of the box”. It really brought my attention back to something that I hadn’t thought about in a while and that is the lag between identification and adoption.

With the current software development process this can take years. First, something is identified as a potential feature. It is then developed. It then waits for the next release date. Then it is adopted. Let’s take an example from SharePoint 2010: In place records management.

Lets start with our known date, release, which you would assume incorrectly would be 2010 for SharePoint 2010, but was, in fact, 2009. The development of the in place records management functionality probably took a good amount of time, we’ll say about a year and a half with 6 months waiting for the release (both guesses to make the point). It was probably identified as functionality a year before then and had to make its way through the pecking order of other functions.

So, we’re looking at something that was identified as a feature in 2006 being released in 2009 and adopted by a company... well, in most cases, not even yet. In the recent AIIM research on SharePoint adoption, it was shown that “only 8% of SharePoint users have completed their upgrade to the 2010 version, whereas 21% are deploying 2010 as a first use. Of these 6% are live. 28% are in the process of upgrading from 2007 to 2010. Half of the user base expects to be live on 2010 by the end of 2011.”

That means that over half of SharePoint users won’t see functionality that was identified as useful in 2006 until 2012 and beyond. That in itself will be a challenge that Microsoft will have to find a solution for in the future if it is to retain its strong marketshare against solutions that have continuous development cycles.

As for the Quora question about microblogging, Francois Tranter, the questioner, sums up this point from a consumer standpoint perfectly, “To me it just feels like three years is an eternity these days. Can a company afford not to be on the cutting edge?

#SharePoint #developmentcycle #sharepointfunctionality #development #sharepoint