Most blogs I read talk about the many features of SharePoint and its benefits but they don’t cover how risk adverse organizations deal with the wide variety of functions SharePoint can provide and how it can wreak havoc on the IT department if adopted in a hap-hazard manner.

A recent customer engagement drove home the reality that not all organizations are progressive and therefore new technology (Change) is viewed as a threat by IT and department(s) that have typically owned web presence. As a result, these departments have aggressively chosen to completely restrict the services offered by their SharePoint service resulting in the deployment of a simple web page publishing service! Yes, no My Sites, Team Collaboration, Search etc…etc…Foolish? It depends on your perspective.

Culturally, there are some IT departments that still monopolize the delivery of IT value within organizations. Their inability to adjust to change, adopt new technologies for the purposes of providing much needed strategic services to departments is hindered greatly. Why? Culture.

Why does culture have such a big play in deploying new technologies such as SharePoint? Here’s a few points to think about:

  • It’s unknown
  • Lack of skill sets within IT
  • Lack of vision within IT
  • IT has typically gated new solutions
  • Attitudes
  • No governance

Sound bizarre? Well I guess it depends on your perspective. If your accustom to working in organizations afraid of change, you won’t see the problem with the approach. If you’re accustom to working in more progressive (risk taking) organizations, your probably shaking your head.

So how does an organization take advantage of a technology such as SharePoint when their so risk adverse? Well, its a slow process that is instigated from the top down (CIO) and from the bottom up (Departments).

Organizations such as these require change across the board starting with:

  • More active involvement of the executives in IT culture, vision and decisions
  • IT department coaching, re-training, HR metrics and staffing practices
  • Formal governance structure

In order for organizations to truly realize the value of new technologies, their must be a concerted effort in place for the departments and IT to jointly discover new ways of doing business. If the concerned parties are not in the game, then the organization suffers as a result.

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