Many clients I speak with have several questions about where SharePoint technologies best fit. This is one of the topics that sparks a heated debate since many themes are at play such as:
- What toolsets do I have in place today?
- How mature are the toolsets?
- Does it make sense to consolidate toolsets?
- What functionality would SharePoint provide and/or replace?
- How would operations be affected by a new toolset?
- Does my governance program require changes?
- How would the end user experience be affected?
- Is my outsourcing program impacted?
As you can see, the toolset is only part of the equation. So how do you approach the situation? Not to sound cliché but requirements and objectives must be clearly understood and documented and agreed to at the various (many) levels of the organization. If you’re in a highly aligned organization (don’t see many of these) it’s a relatively simple task of working the items. In a disconnected organization, the task is considerably more complex.
Typically, in disconnected environments we see the following:
- The lines of business and departments are disconnected and operate under the radar
- IT is viewed as slow to respond
- Senior management is pessimistic about technology
- Several IT projects have failed which creates pessimism and animosity
- The organization has most of bread toolsets
- There are several fiefdoms at play working their own solutions
- The corporate solution of choice is defending itself
I’m sure there are more points to consider but I think this list gets the message across. Deploying a new service in an enterprise requires a holistic approach that helps the organization digest all the required activities and commitments. Many SIs simply speak to the toolset and not the costs and impacts associated with lighting up a new service nationally or/or globally. As a result, organizations generally walk into Collaboration blindly and experience a false start.