Microsoft Creates SharePoint Bewilderment for Businesses

SharePoint in the CloudBusinesses Forced to Make Tough Call: Where do we place our SharePoint?

The problem: Microsoft is making enterprises support separate Cloud and On-Premises versions of SharePoint

Furthermore, they are telling SharePoint app developers not to work in C# and .NET.  All this poses a logistical nightmare for IT: two unique SharePoint environments to support.

Do you increase complexity by adding another version of SharePoint to your IT portfolio?  If yes, how many additional SharePoint administrators will you need?  If you don’t add FTEs and increase the burden on your existing SharePoint team, will your response time and quality of support suffer?

Users Want Office 365

Few would disagree that Office 365 is easier to use than SharePoint 2010 or older versions of Exchange.  Microsoft has spent quite a bit of time improving the interface and testing usability of the Office 365 apps.  They work across a multitude of devices, and new features and updates are released on the fly.

As consumers of Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and so on, we expect certain standards in a Web application, and Office 365 comes closer to that standard than the on-premises versions of SharePoint, Exchange or Lync.  And even better, there is no maintenance headache. Office 365 just works, most of the time (keeping in mind that all Web apps will have outages). Fee wise there is just one monthly fee.  Your end users really do want the Office 365 experience with all the bells and whistles.  But the CIOs need governance, control and integration from it if they’re going to roll it out to the masses.

CIOs Wants SharePoint 2013

CIOs certainly understand why Office 365 is attractive to their Microsoft user base, but the CIO operates in a world of ROI and TCO.  Not to mention security, reliability and performance concerns about the Cloud.  CIOs need SharePoint 2013 and want it to live in their data center where they can guarantee up-time, have control over the environment and the ability to say “no” to an upgrade that could threaten the productivity of their workforce. CIOs like knowing when a training spend on SharePoint is needed and can measure that investment and return.

This will be a challenge in Office 365 as features are released on the fly and users struggle to learn as they go.  No one likes to be the guinea pig or beta tester and Office 365 is clearly the testing ground for SharePoint, Exchange and Lync.  Furthermore, most CIOs have significant SharePoint customizations and 3rd party apps built on top of SharePoint 2013 which require testing to make sure they don’t break when a service pack is released.  Not having the ability for a test/dev environment for Office 365 will keep most CIOs firmly planted in the on-premises SharePoint 2013 world.

Yammer Left Out in the Cold

70% of the SharePoint base are still on-premises and according to Gartner, 50% will never let their SharePoint leave their own data center.  Yammer is only available to Office 365 and there is no roadmap right now for if, when or how it will ever be available for on-premises SharePoint environments.  As a result, Newsgator and other alternatives continue to flourish in customer data centers.

SharePoint App Store Model

Good idea, poor execution.

Most SharePoint developers know C# and ASP.NET, yet Microsoft has dictated that they now reverse course and write in html and JavaScript.  It’s no wonder the App model hasn’t taken off.  These folks have years of code widgets in C# and .NET and experience.  They aren’t going to pivot on a dime and abandon their investment in their programming skills.  Think of it as personal ROI. This story affects both internal SharePoint development teams and 3rd party developers and consultancies.

The app model also forces everyone to abandon the Sandbox model from SharePoint 2010 which works quite well.  SharePoint code could be isolated and run safely.  It could also be ported to other environments.  Much of this SharePoint 2010 code can be tweaked for SharePoint 2013 but cannot be used in Office 365.

Winning the Battle on Two SharePoint Fronts    

There have been very few successful military leaders in world history who have won a war with multiple fronts.  Most military and business strategists agree that focusing on one front or initiative yields the highest degree of success.  So, how do you avoid fighting the SharePoint version battle on two fronts?

One option is to let manage your SharePoint 2013 environment (intranet, extranet or public facing).  Fully managed down to SharePoint administration in a private dedicated Cloud or on-premises in your own data center (remotely managed).  This would allow you to run a hybrid model and get the best of both SharePoint worlds – all the latest features of Office 365 while leveraging your customization on SharePoint 2013.

Fight the good fight on one SharePoint front so you can continue innovating and using SharePoint as a platform for strategic success.

2014-01-02T08:30:32+00:00 January 2nd, 2014|

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