It's been an interesting year for SharePoint. We've started to see steady adoption of SharePoint 2013, as well as continued usage of SharePoint 2010 and some older versions. And Microsoft’s shift to focus on the cloud and Office 365 left many guessing about the future of the on premises version of SharePoint.
Whatever comes in 2014, I don’t believe SharePoint is going anywhere. But I do think we’ll see more changes.
Here are some things I believe we’ll see take place in the coming new year.
1. Rise of SkyDrive Pro as Enterprise Variant of Dropbox, Google Drive
SkyDrive Pro is Microsoft’s response to document sharing tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive. It has put a lot of emphasis on using SkyDrive Pro with SharePoint and Office 365 to easily share documents and take them offline.
Right now there is a big drive by Dropbox to get into the enterprise, claiming that 4 million businesses use it in some way. But as Ben Keeps at Forbes points out, most of that comes in the form of “shadow IT,” which means it’s not a sanctioned service by IT. It also has a lot of work to do in the areas of governance, auditing, security and more.
Google Drive is a little further along that Dropbox, but we see the real opportunity in SkyDrive Pro. With Microsoft’s commitment to the cloud, SkyDrive Pro is going to get a lot of attention and we know how Microsoft likes to take on Google.
2. Continued Growth in O365 and Other Hosted Solutions for Exchange, SharePoint, Office, Lync, etc.
This is a continuation of the Microsoft cloud theme that is getting so much attention. While I don’t believe on premises SharePoint is going anywhere soon (as Gartner seems to predict), I do believe Microsoft will be devoting more of its time building up its hosted solutions.
If you follow the news regularly, then you’ve seen the constant stream of news from Microsoft on new services in the cloud: Visual Studio, Dynamic AX ERP, as well as continual regular updates to Office 365 itself.
Consider that Office 365 is available in 123 markets and 40 different languages. Microsoft also reduced its pricing to make it more attractive to a larger set of organizations, both small- to medium-businesses and enterprise. At Microsoft’s recent shareholder meeting in November, CEO Steve Ballmer talked about the company’s momentum in services likes Office 365 and its drive to deliver first-class enterprise services. According to its first quarter revenue numbers (which ended October 2013), commercial cloud revenue grew 103 percent.
3. The Office Platform will be Decoupled from Windows
Offered in iOS and Android variants