The fun part of every December is to look back at the year and think through all that has happened. Looking at all the ups, the downs and the unknowns can really be an eye opener to get you ready to make the resolutions and plans for the next year, because there really is no point in looking back if you don’t take the extra steps to plan forward.
In this article we are going to do just that, with a focus on SharePoint. Now, while it is true this article is very personal to my experiences, it is also likely that much of it will apply to you as well. I encourage you to look through my list and then come up with your own. Next December we can compare notes and see how far we have come!
From Documents to Process
The first big thing that I wanted to recognize as being a big win for 2012 is that many of the people that I have worked with on SharePoint projects have started to switch focus from “a better way to store documents” to a focus of “a tool to make work easier.”
To me this was a natural progression. The first step always seemed to be providing a way to “work better with documents” and then once they got a small taste of that, they wanted to just “work better.” This has been a fun transition for me because once people get a taste of SharePoint, they can’t help but to want more.
The next highlight of year for me was seeing so many HR departments recognize that they could use a tool like SharePoint to try to automate and improve their internal onboarding process for new hires. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked about this in 2012 I would be a rich lady!
This signaled a turning point to me for many organizations that were using SharePoint. Most of the people who made the inquiry knew very little about technology, but they knew they had content that needed to be distributed based on a process and tracked for accuracy. Most of them had recognized other internal wins with SharePoint and saw it as a potential solution for their needs as well. This one type of project came up almost weekly in conversations that I had with clients.
Like all things in business, SharePoint was a great fit for some groups and other groups decided to go with other tools. The project itself wasn’t really what stuck out to me, instead it was the trend of business users seeing something successful with one thing and then applying it to their situation and identifying it as a potential solution.
Governance in Action
The third and final highlight of my year was seeing so many people living out the idea of realistic governance for SharePoint. By realistic, I mean, planning smart and implementing governance where it makes sense and is manageable.
Within this last year people seemed to latch on to the idea that governance is important, but they have to be smart about it and apply it to their unique environments. Without the application to their environments, governance was really just a fancy buzz word that they knew they needed.
This year, with many of the people I worked with, there was a strong desire to take best practices and apply them to fit within their environment. Applied governance really took main stage this year and it was one of the biggest wins in my mind.
As I sit and think of how far we have come this year, I can’t help but be excited about the next year! 2013 is going to bring many exciting, fun and challenging changes to the industry, especially SharePoint. I am going to highlight a few of my predictions for next year. Take a look and use the comments to let me know what predictions you might have for 2013.
Platform & Device
So the first prediction I have is that regardless of the platform or device, a user is going to have expectations that it works. If they are working on their home PC, their office Desktop, their tablet device, cell phone or a kiosk, they are simply going to expect it to work and work the same.
Devices are everywhere now and it is common that from almost anywhere we can have immediate access to the internet and content. While I think people will have reasonable expectations of security, I think they will expect that content is accessible from multiple locations and devices in a common and repeatable way.
Internal & External Communication
My next prediction is that users are going to have the expectation that they can work the same way with external partners and vendors as they do with internal vendors. If they identify something that works internally, why not be able to easily use the same methods and processes externally?