When is the right time to get social on SharePoint?

By Rich Blank posted 03-17-2011 22:56


I hear from a number of organizations who all seem to say they want to roll out and promote the social and collaborative capabilities of SharePoint.   And I hear a lot of talk, little action, and a lot of excuses not only from IT but directly from the CEO….   

Why is your organization not investing in the social and collaborative capabilities of SharePoint and still making excuses?

"We're knee deep in our legacy intranet migration to SharePoint and social computing isn't on the radar screen".  

"There's too much going on with the acquisition of Company X."    

"I'm just not sure when or if social will be accepted in our population and to what degree it should be introduced".  

I’m sure you’ve heard excuses like these inside your organization.   However, when you started on your SharePoint journey, it’s likely you borrowed from the same Powerpoint slide-deck we all used selling the grand vision of collaboration, innovation, finding experts, connecting people, etc, etc...   I'm sure this was all part of the story that got you funding to deploy SharePoint in the first place.  It’s likely your CEO has even championed creating the "Facebook" or "LinkedIn" for the enterprise.  We all know we need to become this collaborative organization connecting the silos of information and people.    You know your organization needs to get social and collaborate more effectively and efficiently.  Everyone experiences the possibilities and opportunities on the public web and we all know we need to be collaborating smarter within our internal organizations.  Yet it's 2011 and the conversation is STILL happening inside email and not inside of SharePoint.  

There will ALWAYS be limited budget, limited time, limited resources, and risk and governance concerns!  

Okay, I get the project and risk management concerns.   The command and control culture of the historic corporation creates friction and wants to create policies for everything.  And your IT department is probably over-governing SharePoint and limiting the possibilities of what the business wants to do.  However, it’s likely employees have already started going around corporate IT and using Yammer, Spigit, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or some other social solution outside of your firewall in spite of your corporate policies!    I get it….I'm a certified PMP and have spent over 15 years in the trenches implementing and selling enterprise software  ... and guess what?  

Now is the time the scope of your SharePoint project includes “social”.  

So why not take full advantage of the collaborative capabilities of the Microsoft SharePoint platform and drive adoption, innovation, expertise location, and microblogging with fully integrated social solutions from vendors like Newsgator for SharePoint 2010?   Bring the social conversation back inside the firewall and inside SharePoint where you can better manage the legal or risk concerns.   It’s time to start moving beyond creating team sites, simple lists and document libraries in a vanilla out of the box SharePoint site template.    It’s time to realize emailing a link to a document inside SharePoint is not exactly productivity or collaboration.   It’s time you stop creating static and boring intranet portals and start building vibrant, dynamic, and social intranet communities.   It’s time now to put "social" on your radar screen.  It’s time you start recognizing the ROI and true business value of your SharePoint investment by getting "social".

It’s time to start realizing the grand vision of collaboration you sold your organization on.  

Social computing 101 is to have a vision about how you believe your work environment, your culture, your organization SHOULD be working.   Project management 101 is to have a plan.   So where exactly is the "social" in your global SharePoint Roadmap?   Do you even have a multi-year roadmap for your SharePoint deployment that will help your organization realize the vision of the collaborative enterprise???     It's time to reduce email and capture the conversation and activities all inside of the SharePoint platform.    So tweet this post, share it on Facebook or Linkedin, or even forward it to your CEO and tell your organization to stop making excuses!   Now is the time to make SharePoint social...

#Collaboration #socialcomputing #SharePoint #sharepoint #NewsGator