Over the last year, In evaluating many organization’s business needs and requirements, it was quite clear to me that SharePoint was not deployed as a content management platform. There were a number of reasons for this fact, but I will only focus on two. First, there was the lack of an organizational roadmap. The fact that many organizations failed to develop a formal roadmap, before deploying SharePoint, hindered user adoption and failed to align, the various features of, SharePoint with organizational business needs and requirements. Second and equally important, there was a lack of executive support and stakeholders involvement. To put it differently, IT was left holding the bag.
There are a number of questions as to where SharePoint sits in the enterprise as it compares to other content management (ECM, RM and DM) platforms. Naturally, many would expect for SharePoint to replace many of the existing ECM platforms. On the contrary, SharePoint – in many organizations – co-exist with a number of other content management platforms. Or, I have found that SharePoint is, either, competes or integrates with the existing content management platforms. This point is further supported by AIIM’s (http://www.aiim.org/research) research; “State of the ECM Industry”.
Figure 8: Which of the following would you use to best describe your current or planned use of SharePoint in
your organization with regard to your existing ECM, DM and RM suite? N=233 (SharePoint users)
The question for many SharePoint Architects and Administrators is, “How do we overcome the SharePoint constraints?” Architects, administrators and consultants must clearly demonstrate a clear return on investment (ROI). But as insightful as that may be, it does not bear on the key issue at hand. The key issue is that decision makers do not view SharePoint as an enterprise solution in the content management space. As a result, senior management doesn’t view SharePoint as an organizational priority. It is my position that SharePoint 2010’s ECM features and Microsoft’s partner channel will fill in a number of gaps that would change senior management’s behavior. Today, SharePoint 2007 is an excellent choice as an organization’s ECM platform. But, an organization must build a formal roadmap for SharePoint.
In my next posting, I would like to take a closer look at SharePoint Governance and its value-add for building an ECM platform. Most importantly, leveraging a more structured approach to moving past a number of deployment road blocks.