Planning to Adopt Sharepoint? Read this First

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There are a couple of key things to consider if you are planning to adopt SharePoint in your enterprise. The first of which is that SharePoint has different uses for different people and their organizations.

SharePoint is a full-featured suite of many different apps. These include:

Content management

Enterprise social networking

Intranet, extranet and portal creation

Collaboration tools

Project and workflow management

Business intelligence

Enterprise search

This means SharePoint contains many applications that can be set up in many ways. Managers need to define how the platform will be used.

Planning Before Adopting SharePoint

Plan for how your team can best use it. As a bare minimum, here’s a very initial plan which can help you start:

A “taxonomy” for data stored in SharePoint

• which pieces of SharePoint will be used and by whom
• who will support each group of SharePoint users

“SharePoint does not solve problems it’s a tool”

This means managers must ensure that a sensible plan is in place for setting up SharePoint and storing information with it.

SharePoint’s back-end technology stack

Troubleshooting SharePoint requires understanding of underlying technologies and SharePoint itself because the problem is rarely very clear. Finding people with both skill sets is challenging.

Following technologies should work properly for smooth execution of SharePoint.

Windows
SQL (database)
Internet Information Server (IIS)
Active Directory
Domain Name System (DNS)
enterprise networking
incoming and outgoing e-mail servers
and more

Any misconfiguration or glitch in any of these components can cause SharePoint to fail.

This means SharePoint technical support and system administration cannot be an afterthought; these should be part of the initial planning.

SharePoint Administration

It’s fair to say that maintaining SharePoint takes special expertise. But not every IT team has this expertise or can keep up-to-date with such a sprawling application.

Gartner reports: “SharePoint has frequently been deployed in a bottom-up or distributed fashion, often outside of the scrutiny or guidance of strategic IT. This is changing as companies realize its potential and its risks,”

Business users can draw on SharePoint’s tools to develop mini-apps for team members. But these users are not likely trained in best practices in software development, so these homegrown apps may be riddled with unpredictable bugs.

Troubleshooting any SharePoint outage takes time. And meanwhile, mission-critical work may grind to a halt.

It may not be realistic to expect your IT team to support such a major application by themselves. In fact, analysts say these unrealistic expectations create a considerable amount of pain among enterprises using SharePoint.

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Ahsan Khalid

About the Author Ahsan Khalid

Ahsan Khalid is the director of technology at Centric DXB. He is a trusted partner for clients as well as internal cross-disciplinary teams to ensure quality relationships. He can be reached on ahsan.khalid@centric.ae

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