SPC11: Rob Koplowitz Presents ‘The Forrester Survey: Best Practices in SharePoint 2010 Adoption and Migration’

Tuesday afternoon at the SPC, Rob Koplowitz, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, presented a session discussing the results of the Global SharePoint Usage Online Survey which was conducted in July. Invited to participate in the survey were Forrester clients, participants in previous SharePoint workshops, and Twitter users. Rob explained that Forrester had hoped for 100 respondents, but they shut it off just two days later, with over 500 respondents having already participated.

Rob said at the outset that "Success with SharePoint 2010 can be like defining the line between control and chaos but, ultimately, it's about functional need and organizational readiness." Getting straight to the survey data without further delay, Rob explained that SharePoint 2010 is gaining rapid adoption. While 65% of respondents were still using MOSS 2007, at 57%, over half were already on 2010. The option for application development was a big driver for respondents' speedy deployment of 2010, as was the strong desire to move in the direction of social that 2010 represents.

Survey findings revealed that SharePoint is popular across all company sizes. At 19%, the highest user base among respondents was companies between 1,000-4,999 employees, while 10% of respondents represented companies between 100-499 employees. At the extremes, 16% were companies with more than 100,000 employees, while 6% were companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Rob demonstrated that the "industry spread is also fairly even," with the surprise being that there were a number of industries very well represented which hadn't been anticipated. Among the industries represented by respondents were: financial services (21%), retail and wholesale (6%), government (9%), technology and telecom (19%), healthcare/pharmaceuticals (8%), and travel and tourism (2%).

Based on the survey results, the first best practice recommendation Rob shared was to "start with high value, low risk workloads." The survey revealed that not only were the benefits of collaboration, content management, and sites (portals and intranets) on SharePoint found to be the most useful to respondents, but they also provided the most satisfaction. As well, Rob stated that organizations "can roll these out with a great degree of confidence that it's going to work, and work as advertised."

Addressing the area of deployment pace and obstacles encountered, 41% of respondents said their deployment went slower than expected. Among that group, as expected, technical issues represented the largest percentage (at 59%) identified as being a barrier, and additional high-scoring results included: lack of governance slowed us (41%), functional issues with the product (36%), we can't find the skills/talent we need (28%), our users adopted more slowly (28%), and funding issues slowed us (25%).

Encouraging news for ISVs such as Bamboo, when asked, "Are you augmenting with third-party products?," while 43% of respondents said "no," over half (at 57%) of respondents said "yes." Furthermore, when asked if they had planned to use third-party products from the outset, 44% replied "yes." When asked how they were using third-party products, the highest percentage (at 8%) said they were using Nintex for workflow, and the next-highest placed company on the list was Bamboo with 6% of respondents identifying our Web Parts as being a part of their deployment. The next range of third-party provider usage that was shared was represented by four companies, including AvePoint, NewsGator, Axceler, and K2, all of whom were acknowledged as being used by 4% of respondents.

When asked if SharePoint was meeting IT's expectations, 79% of respondents said "yes," and 21% said "no." When asked if SharePoint was meeting business management's expectations, the numbers were very close to those of IT, with 27% saying "no," and 73% saying "yes." Rob noted that this represented a "very high level of satisfaction for both IT and business."

What about Office 365 and the cloud? 81% of respondents have SharePoint currently deployed on-premises, with 4% on BPOS, 3% on BPOS-D. A hybrid deployment of on-prem and cloud, or using hosting providers other than Microsoft representing the balance of respondents.

Rob said that "Only 17% said it was never a consideration" to deploy in the cloud. Of those respondents, 26% responded thusly due to requirements for security, privacy, compliance, or intellectual capital that precluded the option for them. Further questioning indicated, however, that most of the responding organizations that had responded in that manner were "simply incapable of assessing the viability of the cloud to meet those concerns."

Of the cloud experience, 28% of respondents said that their deployment to SharePoint Online was positive, and 13% said that it was harder than expected. Rob noted that the cloud and Office 365 is expected to become a "wholly more viable option with the next version of SharePoint."

In conclusion, Rob shared the Forrester-recommended best practices, or "your game plan to engage, innovate, and accelerate" as including the following:

In the short-term:

  • Assess SharePoint from a functional perspective;
  • Determine functional overlap with existing systems;
  • Develop a road map to deploy functionality based on need, risk, and readiness; and
  • Determine organizational readiness.

And in the longer term:

  • Deploy initial workloads and monitor;
  • Drive adoption, drive adoption, drive adoption; and
  • Expand to new workloads that may be riskier but offer significant new value.


Read our complete coverage of Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011.

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