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4 Things to Know About SharePoint Metadata

2014-24-April- SharePoint-and- future-application

Nearly 30 percent of organizations are still using SharePoint 2007, only 34 percent of organizations have turned to Office 365 and very few organizations have information governance strategies in place around their SharePoint environments. Those are just some of the research findings from semantic search provider Concept Searching.

The focus of the report was on the use or lack of use of metadata in SharePoint data management. But it also highlighted some interesting future projects for SharePoint-centric enterprises, including migration to newer editions of SharePoint and even the deployment of text analytics with SharePoint environments of the future.

A Bag of Goodies

The findings are contained in the recently published report entitled SharePoint and Office 365 Metadata Survey White Paper, which sets out to uncover what organizations are doing with their metadata.

It is based on 396 surveys from organizations that contacted Concept Searching through its website and offers a range of facts and figures about SharePoint use that are normally very difficult to nail down.

Concept Searching explicitly avoided using information from its own customer base. It is important to stress this as, generally speaking, white papers are developed by vendors using their own customers, which often leads to skewed or inaccurate findings that don’t reflect general trends in the market.

All that aside, this report is a bag of goodies full of interesting facts and figures about SharePoint and Office 365 use in the organizations. In fact there is so much here, and there are so many different focuses, that we are going to look at it in two parts.

In today’s focus, we will look at what Concept Searching found about the use of metadata in SharePoint as well as the use of its Term Store and its Managed Metadata services.

In a further look at the research tomorrow, we'll examine future plans enterprises have for the deployment of different applications or the development of different projects in conjunction with SharePoint in the future.

SharePoint Findings

For the majority of organizations, SharePoint in the enterprise means SharePoint 2010. Some have already moved to SharePoint 2013, but 27 percent are still using the 2007 SharePoint edition.

On top of this, while Microsoft has spent many months outlining the progress it has made in pushing Office 365 into the enterprise, according to this research the figure — 34 percent — is still lower than might be expected.

Another 21 percent are thinking of deploying Office 365 at some point in the future, but  30 percent indicated no plans to deploy it at all.

Collectively, 72 percent of organizations are planning to upgrade their SharePoint edition or migrate their data to Office 365. With these kinds of figures, it is not surprising that Concept Searching wanted to identify how organizations are using metadata in SharePoint

From the research, there doesn’t appear to be a single way of applying tags and metadata to content across enterprises generally. However, the research did find that organizations are largely using manual end user tagging to improve metadata value.

The research also showed what has been apparent from other SharePoint studies, notably that few enough enterprises have information governance strategies, although many did indicate that they would be addressing this in the future.

A further point worth considering is that SharePoint, for the moment, does not offer any automatic tagging or auto-classification capabilities. Many organizations may feel that the resources required to maintain and manage tagging and classification capabilities may not be justified.

 

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Migration and SharePoint

We don’t have to say much about migration here or about the difficulties of migrating from one edition of SharePoint to another. But the research hit on some interesting figures that are worth taking a look at.

For organizations that are still using SharePoint 2007, the problems are even more pronounced. To move from SharePoint 2007 to 2013 requires an intermediary step to migrate to the 2010 version first, although there are third party tools available to help do  this.

 

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