I’m at the end of a series of posts throwing my hat in the ring and offering my best guess at what might be next for SharePoint.
The Microsoft community has been abuzz in the last few weeks as we seem to be nearing some tangible news about what the next version of SharePoint will look like—needless to say, speculation about what the folks in Redmond might be planning (or not planning) for SharePoint 2013 is running rampant.
With the next release, there are some opportunity areas for SharePoint—and where Microsoft decides to go will have critical implications for current and future SharePoint customers:
- Will SharePoint’s records management capabilities finally be ready for prime time?
- Will SharePoint offer fully-functioning integration with capture technology?
- Will SharePoint provide more robust workflow capabilities to go beyond basic document-centric processes?
- Will SharePoint evolve into a true social business tool?
- Will SharePoint 365 overcome the limitations of BPOS?
In this last post, I’ll be stepping through Microsoft’s existing cloud SharePoint offering and lay out not only how Microsoft might address it in SharePoint 2013, but also raise some key implications for current (and expectant) SharePoint customers.
#5. Will SharePoint 365 overcome the limitations of BPOS?
The problem: to say that Microsoft’s hosted offering for SharePoint to date has been problematic is an understatement. BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services), at least among the clients I serve (Fortune 1000 organizations, mostly in financial services, insurance, banking, and pharma, as well as heavy industries such as oil and gas, mining, and manufacturing), has been a non-starter for a number of reasons:
- No customization
- No support for records management
- No e-discovery capabilities
- Weaker security than on premise offering
An organization that used BPOS for its SharePoint, given this list of limitations, would be managing their non-records that were low risk for litigation and required low security—and what documents are these, exactly?
Every company I’ve ever worked with had business records and all sorts of other high risk content all over their shard drives, SharePoint, email, Lotus Notes databases, line of business applications, you name it. So why in the world would they sign up for BPOS when they would be storing all this valuable and risky content in a less manageable repository than on premises SharePoint?
The answer is that they wouldn’t, which is why, at least among these firms, BPOS was a real flop.
My two cents: given how hugely cloud services are poised to transform corporate IT and how successful cloud content management services like Box.net have become, it would be crazy for Microsoft to ignore it’s hosted SharePoint product. If it does, it risks getting disrupted in core areas like shared drive replacement and basic document sharing by folks like Box.net…something I would think Microsoft would want to avoid at all costs.
Furthermore, given how much pressure IT departments at all organizations are being pressured to do more with less, in the next 18 – 24 months, I think we’re going to see lots of IT folks who previously would have never considered the cloud thinking seriously about it…if for no other reason than cost.
The final word
Well, that brings us to the end of my adventures in SharePoint prognostication. In a month or two, this will all be moot when the public beta starts and we all start getting actual glimpses of what Microsoft has cooked up for us in SharePoint 2013. But until then, let’s hear your prognostications—jump in, and let’s get the conversation started.
Joe Shepley, PMP is the Vice President and Practice Leader at Doculabs in the Greater Chicago Area. He specializes in several areas including SDLC (software development life cycle) methodolorgies, ITIL (V3 Foundation), Project Management, and most importantly Microsoft SharePoint. You can connect with Joe via Twitter by following @joeshepley or on LinkedIn.
More from this author:
- What’s Next for SharePoint Social?
- What’s Next for SharePoint Workflow?
- What’s Next for SharePoint Capture?
- What’s Next for SharePoint?
- SharePoint Needs Information Architecture
- What the Heck is Information Architecture and Why Should I Care?
- Building a Successful Information Architecture
- You Already Have a SharePoint Information Architecture
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment: Part 1 – Site Structure
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment: Part 2 – Folder Structure
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment Part 3 – Metadata
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment Part 4 - File Naming
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment: Part 5 – Document Types
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environtment: Part 6- Resource Requirements
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment: Part 7 – Process Requirements