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.

Thank you for following along with us on this 11-part series on SharePoint 2013's newest features. I hope you found it useful and informative. Although the series has ended, you can download the whitepaper in its entirety here.

Please let us know your comments, questions, expereiences and conerns on SharePoint and its features as you read through the document.

Microsoft SharePoint 2013: An Overview