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3 Major deployment challenges in SharePoint

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In the recent times, there has been a tremendous rise in the Enterprise adoption of SharePoint. A survey conducted by Global 360, an organization dealing in document management, has found out that among the 886 respondents, 90% make use of SharePoint, wherein, SharePoint 2010 is being used by 8%. Strikingly, 67% of the SharePoint users extend it across the enterprise, implying that SharePoint is not limited to the IT department but can render support to the other departments too. Study also reveals that SharePoint webparts development is on the rise.


The survey also brings to light the manner in which SharePoint is used by organizations. It mainly gets started in the form of a content repository and then transforms into a more dynamic component. It is seen that 67% of SharePoint users have extended it for document workflow management while 66% have used SharePoint for web content and portal management. Again, 56% of the respondents have leveraged SharePoint for rendering support to business processes. 27% of the organizations which were surveyed are of the opinion that more than fifty percent of the documents that are stored within SharePoint are utilized for supporting vital aspects of business.


In spite of the widespread adoption of SharePoint coupled with enhancements in workflow, search and social networking within the platform, there are certain deployment challenges, as the survey highlights. Let us discuss three of the major challenges here.


User-experience is not so out-of-the-box


Out of the survey respondents only 17.6% are of the opinion that SharePoint renders an exceptional out-of-the-box user experience while at the same time sufficiently catering to their requirements. On the other hand, 78% respondents have described SharePoint as more or less adequate to inadequate, stating that the platform calls for additional in-house development and design.


The biggest challenge in case of implementing SharePoint, as opined by 21% of the respondents, is the absence of conveniently usable, intuitive interface suitable for business users. Undoubtedly, an insufficient user interface generally points at trouble. As stated by the Global 360 report, general user experiences frequently give rise to slow user acceptance, lesser productivity by users looking for workarounds to applications which fail to cater to their needs and soaring costs to customize and rollback applications.


Creating business applications takes effort and time


So far as SharePoint is concerned, there have been advances in the domains of offline access, social media, ERP integration and better CRM. However, going by the Global 360 report, there is still a huge difference between the delivered output and what is possible to be achieved.


Out of the 60% of survey respondents who have found SharePoint user experience insufficient, 47% are into creation of custom applications across the SharePoint environment. This involves lots of time. 30% of the respondents stated that the foremost challenge in SharePoint implementation is the time and effort involved in development of the business applications.


As per the report, a number of organizations who intend to reduce time, expertise and resources required for integration of custom apps within SharePoint are going for third-party applications in order to add content management, business intelligent and process management features to SharePoint.


Getting IT as well as business users over the same page


Outside of work, employees are exposed to increasingly interactive Web apps like the different apps of Google and Facebook. This has led to increased expectation with respect to the enterprise applications. Owing to this, IT is required to involve users within SharePoint deployment planning, as the Global 360 report states.


This may not be always convenient, as there is every possibility of disconnect between the business and IT users of an enterprise. However, user feedback obtained early will in due course speed adoption as well as cut the costs of deploying SharePoint, as stated by the Global 360 report. It notes that while customizing, purchasing or planning SharePoint business applications, there should be a concerted effort by the IT organizations to connect with the business users who have been targeted with respect to the application.


The survey majorly based in North America and Europe brings out the manner in which SharePoint users have adopted the platform as well as the deployment challenges that they regularly face. If these challenges are overcome, SharePoint will become a more efficient platform for businesses.


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