document management, SharePoint 2013 Success Barriers Call for Governance ActionsThe AIIM report on SharePoint 2013 sings a familiar tune: people have security concerns with SharePoint in the cloud; people consider SharePoint as a platform for building a comprehensive content management system and records management system; Microsoft’s three-year upgrade cycle has caused many companies to have multiple versions of SharePoint which has added IT support issues. 

We know some are not happy with SharePoint, and AIIM reported this last year, too.

So the question remains -- what to do about these concerns?

Not Many with Great SharePoint Success

The report released this week and based off a July survey of 620 SharePoint users -- “SharePoint 2013 -- Clouding the issues” -- concludes that organizations “seem prepared to continue investing in core licenses, professional services, and additional add-on products as they pursue the goal of building a capable and comprehensive content and records management system, with SharePoint as the underlying platform.”

document management, SharePoint 2013 Success Barriers Call for Governance Actions

Doug Miles, director of market intelligence for AIIM, who spearheaded the survey research and wrote the report, caught up with CMSWire today. Miles said he was shocked to see the number of those finding “great success” with their SharePoint implementation only at 6%. He expected that to be somewhere in the range of a quarter of the respondents.

“It’s a little depressing,” he told CMSWire from his UK office. “To be fair, with any IT project you don’t expect a huge number. But that answer was really low.”

When CMSWire shared the 6% number with Joel Oleson, or “SharePoint Joel” as he’s affectionately known in this industry, he told us that a "SharePoint deployment is never done. There's always more to be done, so it may look daunting."

Oleson added that "Microsoft's focus on Office 365 and attempt to get more looks at SharePoint as a utility have neglected the real deployments." 

Eric Riz, executive vice president of Concatenate, a software firm based in Toronto, told CMSWire he's not surprised by the survey's 6% number.  

"There is a huge question mark around the definition of success in the SharePoint context," Riz said. "Who defines it? How do you know when you're done? By department? By webpart? By functionality? Massive confusion exists in this definition."

Define Governance Plan Now

SharePoint end users have several concerns about which direction they want to go with implementation and defining long-term governance plan: will it be used in the cloud? For records management?

We know a governance plan is huge. One major issue we discussed last month based off the SharePoint Technology Conference in Boston #SPTechCon was document management and its role in governance. Too often, many documents sit in a virtual file cabinet while needed are reviews to cross-check updates and amendments to an organization’s policies, goals and features. Governance committees must meet regularly to enforce policy changes and implementation.  

So what's the big takeaway here from this week's AIIM report? Miles told us that end users “need to make up their minds as to what the current and definitive role of SharePoint is in their IT infrastructure.”

“Are you putting records on it or not?” he asked. “Are you linking to records management or not? Are you going to see it as a way into the cloud or not? Are you using third-party products or not? Don’t just leave it there. Move on it. Make some decisions where you are going and where you want to end up.” 

Why This Survey?

The research for the survey was underwritten in part by AvePoint, Bottomline Technologies, Buildingi, EMC, IBM, K2, Kodak, Repstor and Titus.

We asked Miles why this survey would be relevant to SharePoint users today -- and why it’s distinguished from other industry findings. He said respondents were composed of end users, and although the survey had industry sponsors, AIIM is independent and “acts on behalf of the end users.”

“People generally trust us with saying what they feel about it,” Miles said. “We have a lot of practitioners and not necessarily the views from the highest person in the business. We wanted to get the viewpoints of people struggling with this day to day.”

Other key findings in the AIIM report include:

  • 57% use SharePoint for Electronic Content Management/Document Management (ECM/DM), and 31% consider it to be their main or only (10%) ECM/DM system.
  • 45% plan to be on SharePoint 2013 by mid-2014 based partially on improved search features and tighter integration with Outlook.
  • 9% of smaller organizations plan to move all of their SharePoint content to the 365 cloud, compared to 2% of mid-sized and 3% of largest. Overall 29% are looking to a hybrid cloud, but half of these will use a third-party or private cloud, not 365.
  • Despite improvements in the standard feature set, 67% still see third-party products as important for process and records management activities.