The buildup to the release of SharePoint 2013 continues. One of the issues that was widely discussed around the 2010 release was governance and SharePoint environments. This time, with so much more data under the bridge -- and more and more people using SharePoint -- governance will be certainly be a hot topic once again.

Axceler’s Research

Axceler, which has been working in the SharePoint space for just about forever, has been carrying out research to find out how exactly SharePoint is being used and what kind of governance policies, if any, enterprises have in place.

The result of that research, entitled "SharePoint Governance Maturity Benchmark", has just been published and shows that while many enterprises understand the real value of SharePoint as a business asset, many have no governance policies -- meaning many deployments are not aligned to business goals. This in turn has led to low user adoption and ultimately poor returns on SharePoint investments when compared to what they could be if a clear governance strategy had been put in place.

The study was carried out over the period of a year across 1000 SharePoint administrators and business professionals who are currently using SharePoint.

Governance Strategies

Generally speaking, although 67% said that SharePoint is extremely important to their business, only 26% said that they had a well-defined enterprise strategy, with 51% admitting that they had no governance strategy for SharePoint in place at the moment. If that wasn't bad enough, 42% were unsure as to how a governance plan could deliver value for the organization.

It may actually be that for small businesses a governance strategy may not be feasible as the cost of developing such a strategy may outweigh the benefits, but for large enterprises with a large number of SharePoint sites, or farms, not having a governance plan for SharePoint is like throwing money out the window.

That said, SharePoint, while not the only collaboration suite, is the most widely used. At the moment, Axceler says, there also appears to be considerable confusion in enterprises over who is responsible for the management of SharePoint.

SharePoint Pain Points

The management of SharePoint is clearly not easy – and this survey has certainly pointed to that -- showing where enterprises are having their greatest difficulties. Asked about their SharePoint pain spot, respondents answered:

  • Security and Permissions (60.8%)
  • Managing content and information storage (51.3%)
  • Application management and time to manage (43.8 percent)
  • No organization governance (46.8%)