Microsoft SharePoint 2013 continues the trend Microsoft has established: add functionality to compete in key areas (ECM, UI, etc.) and blend more and more with the desktop. The social collaboration features are greatly enhanced. The app store model is new enough that it will be interesting to see how it matures.
Organizations that have the patience to adopt release 1.0 before the user community has shaken out the new features will be trend-setters and will need to move methodically in implementation, taking great care to include strong change management and communication practices. Time should be included for additional testing and for the learning curve required to understand how to implement what features to whom. With that said, the 2013 incarnation of SharePoint does address several business issues around social collaboration, the UI element, and to some extent ECM in terms of additional support for compliance that were not accounted for by its predecessor. The app store model is intriguing, as technical teams could create solutions for a business team, and then put the new app in the internal app store for use by other teams. Regarding SharePoint in Office 365, there is a need for maturity there as well. For large organizations, there could be challenges with compliance issues (e.g., Where does data reside?; What about regulated data?) and potentially with performance. Most likely, large organizations may need an approach that dedicates infrastructure, rather than joining a multi-tenancy environment. Microsoft is addressing this in a number of ways, including infrastructure as a service in Azure. The models are not well tested yet, and will require additional examination.
Please let us know your comments, questions, expereiences and conerns on SharePoint and its features as you read through the document.
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Jim Kane is the Director of Collaboration and Knowledge Management (KM) at Paragon Solutions. Jim leads the KM practice with a focus on knowledge management and SharePoint-based solutions that support day-to-day business optimization via virtual problem solving, communities of practice, knowledge repositories, role-based communication portals, partner collaboration, and information dashboards. He is co-author of a patent, “Methods of Knowledge Management,” and has over 15 years of experience teaching at the college level as an adjunct instructor. Jim has presented at numerous regional and national conferences on the topics of Knowledge Communities, Adoption Strategies for SharePoint, and Global SharePoint deployments.