SharePoint State of the Union, Part 3: Staying the course

October 23, 2012 —  (Page 1 of 3)
It’s October, the SharePoint conference is less than a month away, and Microsoft has just announced that SharePoint 2013 has gone to manufacturing. What an amazing vibe the SharePoint space has going right now. As the blogs are being feverishly written, companies are continuing the internal conversations about their existing SharePoint environment, and hopefully asking the right questions to make the decisions necessary about their potential upgrade path and next steps.

Microsoft has done a great job providing initial information on TechNet, but it’s up to each company to make a knowledgeable decision that is right for their organization on the next steps of their SharePoint deployment. In the first two articles of this series, I suggested various strategies and steps to convening a SharePoint State of the Union exercise in your organization. In this final piece of the series, I will touch on some additional strategies to consider, and some tips on how to maintain the information collected during this process.

The one point I did not address in the first two articles is the scenario and options for companies that choose not to move from their current SharePoint environment. These are the organizations that choose to stay on the current version and simply sit tight. The previous points are all fine and well if the State of the Union conversations result in a plan to upgrade your environment, but what if your assessment results in a decision to stay the course and continue using your current version?

There are many reasons why this may be the result, including financial, technical or resource limitations. In some cases, companies may not have a solid business case for SharePoint 2013, while others may be waiting to see the market reaction to the product, and consider themselves to have no reason to be on the bleeding edge of SharePoint.

Regardless of the reason, no one should be discouraged by the decision. In fact, the contrary should be touted internally, as people will be able to continue with the platform and interface that they know and recognize. Information can still be found and tracked as it was, and projects can be created to enhance the existing system. These reasons will silently increase user adoption and governance as employees are “at ease” about the decision. These organizations can still work together to improve governance or adoption of SharePoint. If your company chooses not to upgrade, work together to communicate a consistent message internally. Explain the decision, its anticipated impact on the organization, and what your upgrade path may be in the future—if there is one at all. You don’t need to have all the answers on your future plans, but communicating something is always better than nothing.

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