It’s moving quickly towards the end of the year and enterprises everywhere are starting to do the sums to see how much all their computing is costing them. If a newly published reported by Osterman Research is anything to go by, the cost of running SharePoint has jumped by 16% this year.

SharePoint Trends

The research was carried out by Osterman at the behest of Azaleos, which builds private clouds for all kinds of things like managed Exchange, managed Lync and, of course, managed SharePoint.

And while it might be argued that a private cloud vendor would have an interest these kinds of findings, Osterman is a reputable research company and says the survey was carried out independently of Azaleos.

The reason we point this out is that there is more bad news for SharePoint in the study. The study also found that for those enterprises that are using SharePoint, many are reporting skills shortage, lack of trained personnel, and lack of storage growth to be key trends. Even still, the report says, adoption rates remain high, and enterprises are still investing in SharePoint 2010.

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SharePoint deployments

SharePoint Costs Rises

The research, entitled "SharePoint Census 2012: Key Management and Governance Challenges", was published this week and looks at usage trends, costs and inhibitors over the past two years. It consisted of a survey of IT managers and executives across large and medium enterprises, gathering more than 110 responses in September and early October.

The first notable figure that comes from the report is that the mean cost of ownership per user per month has jumped from US$ 45.77 in 2011 to US$ 48.47 in 2012.

But price is not the only issue that Osterman identified with SharePoint. It found that lack of administrative skills, training and knowledge across enterprises generally had jumped from 40% to 53% over the survey period.

On top of that, the difficulty in finding trained IT staff to operate the system or even manage it, had jumped from 28% to 44%. In 2011, 87% of enterprises said their staffing levels were sufficient, while this year only 77% said it was sufficient.

There are a number of factors inhibiting faster adoption of SharePoint, but IT management issues seem to emerge as the most critical…Fundamentally, there is a shortage of trained and skilled SharePoint administrators. Furthermore, many IT departments are understaffed because enterprises underestimate the operations resources required to manage, secure, patch and back up SharePoint sites, databases, servers and farms,” said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman.

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Other SharePoint Problems

But these are only the main problems out of a list, according to the report. Other problems that enterprises are facing at the moment include:

  • Storage issues: It is predicted that 30% of organizations will see the amount of content stored in their SharePoint system rise by 40% during the next 12 months, while only one in 16 anticipate a negative or not growth over the next year. With this comes considerable storage issues.
  • Staffing: Cut backs saw the number of administrators falling by 33% over the year.
  • e-Discovery: Asked how they would fare in the case of an e-Discovery request, nearly half (43 %°) said they would find such a request difficult, or very difficult to do.
  • Poor Governance: More than three-quarters of the organizations surveyed have no governance plan, 39% have one that is not followed, while another 40% have a governance plan, but rarely consult or update it.
  • Application: Building or buying SharePoint apps was nearly 20% more of an inhibitor this year that it was last year.

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SharePoint penetration

SharePoint 2013

Osterman also says that there will be little in the new release that will address these inhibitors. While the new SharePoint 2013 e-Discovery Center and SharePoint App Management Service look to provide advances, it is too early to judge whether they will provide any improvements.

Deployments continue to grow with 28% already planning for the 2013 versions and another 26% looking to migrate to SharePoint 2010 in the next 12 months. There is a lot more here to mull over, so if you’re interested in reading more, you can access the full report after free registration.