If you can afford it, SharePoint may be worth the "hassles"

“SharePoint provides enough business value to outweigh the hassles,” states the latest Forrester report on SharePoint 2010 (SharePoint Adoption, 2011) which reads less like an analysis and more akin to an ad for Microsoft. I truly question Forrester’s impartiality versus their eagerness to please the mother ship. However, the latter half of the report provides of a more balanced look at the pros and cons of SharePoint.

Telus intranet using SP 2010 (compliments of Microsoft)

While the power and feature set of SP 2010 is undeniable, it turns out it is more expensive, more complicated and fails to live up to a number of key expectations. It is, however, a vast improvement over 2007, and is particularly more so for business users such as corporate communications, marketing and HR, who rely more heavily on enterprise content management, collaboration, and portal features.

Among the findings that are, in my opinion, reasonable and well supported (note that most of our clients use SharePoint, and we at Prescient Digital Media use SP 2010):


  • 57% of SharePoint organizations have deployed or in the process of upgrading to SP 2010
  • Early successful deployments encourage rapid uptake and use
  • 79% of respondents reported that SharePoint meets IT’s expectations
  • Benefits outweigh the problems
  • Strong collaboration capabilities
  • 54% say that it is meeting technical expectations (editor’s note: shockingly that’s it?!)
  • SharePoint 2010 fills critical functional gaps left by the 2007 version


  • Mobile access problems from iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc.
  • Lengthy deployment (including 2,000 of deployment documentation and hidden features)
  • Problematic and expensive to customize
  • Often fails to satisfy as a standalone product; needs augmentation (57% of customers have bought third-party tools to augment/improve SharePoint, particularly BPM, workflow, reporting, and administration)
  • Not enough expertise / skills to implement and customize
  • Cost (expensive)
  • Usage (not getting the use as hoped)
  • Technical issues (performance, technical complexity)
  • Lack of governance
  • Functional operation (54% say SP 2010 fails to live up to functional expectations)

Here are some telling quotes from the Forrester report:

  • “We often find that those funding SharePoint projects under appreciate the level of commitment required.”
  • “Our biggest challenge with SharePoint is finding skilled people.”
  • “We have 50 add-on products for SharePoint. Some of them are crucial, and some we’ll eventually do away with.”
  • “Customers tolerate a certain level of implementation barriers for strategic initiatives. Once an organization recognizes SharePoint for what it is — a strategic platform investment — the expectations change.”

SP 2010 gets a thumbs-up when compared to MOSS 2007, but given the cost, gets a failing grade or a bare pass in nearly every other category. It’s very revealing to learn 54% of your customers say that it fails to live up to functional expectations; and 46% say it fails to live up to technical expectations.

However, as I’ve said, SP 2010 is a “mile wide and an inch deep” – which is exactly what some organizations need. SP 2010 offers a lot, but it’s more than what many organizations need, and less than what still others demand.

Read the Bennet-Jones SharePoint case study.

4 thoughts on “If you can afford it, SharePoint may be worth the "hassles"”

  1. Thanks for the mention. The Bennett Jones intranet, which V51 Consulting built with MOSS, won Platinum Prize at the Intranet Innovation Awards and was selected by NN/Group as a top 10 intranet of 2011. Perhaps the bigger challenge is the competition for qualified technical resources. The demand for these skills is high and increasing overall cost of ownership.

  2. Thanks for the note Akiva. If you could share with us the full case study submission I’d be happy to write a case study, and to include it in my presentation at the Intranet Global Forum conference Nov. 9 in NYC (www.IntranetGlobalForum.com).

  3. 79% of respondents reported that SharePoint meets ITРІР‚в„ўs expectations – but did anyone asl the business if it meeets their expectations?

  4. Pingback: Bearing with the Hassles of SharePoint : Beyond Search

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