There's a lot of anticipation about the upcoming SharePoint 2010 release. But back on Earth, the reality is that SharePoint 2007 has already become a key component of enterprise infrastructure.

In fact, according to a recent IDG survey, 62% of CIOs said that SharePoint was a critical component of their technology portfolio. And these organizations have big plans for expanding SharePoint use in the next year.

Primary areas of growth will be:

  • business process management (63%)
  • records management (40%)
  • web content management (39%)
  • application development (35%)

Ed Durst, portfolio manager of the Microsoft Solutions Group at Open Text, says that SharePoint is starting to be treated as a true business application, similar to Microsoft Exchange or SAP. This new status demands new thinking and new practices.

Unplanned Growth Causing Problems

There's bad news along with the good. According to IDG Research's findings, SharePoint growth has been primarily unplanned and there have been some consequences.

Business Management Problems

  • Insufficient workflow processes (44%)
  • Disorganized content (40%)
  • Lack of an over-arching site creation strategy (38%)

End User Problems

  • Difficulty searching across multiple SharePoint sites (43%)
  • Duplicated document or record copies/multiple content versions (42%)

Durst says there has always been tension between corporate control over and user acceptance of new technologies. With SharePoint, you now have IT managers saying they have a tool users like, they just need to establish better governance and control.

Taking Back the Infrastructure

Before organizations can move to the next level of business capabilities with SharePoint, they need to ensure their infrastructure is solid and will support growth.

Resolving these challenges, along with ensuring the administrative and storage costs costs associated with growing SharePoint don't overcome the organization, are key planning components.

This Wednesday at 2pm ET (11am PT), you are invited to join a webinar entitled Taking Back the Infrastructure: Why Optimizing SharePoint is Critical for Today's Corporations. The event will cover the IDG survey results and how you can implement SharePoint in a way that is cost-effective and well governed.

You can register here for the webinar.