Redmond View

SharePoint's Uncertain Enterprise Future

A year after Microsoft released SharePoint 2013, and let the world know it has grown into a $2 billion business, its popular collaboration platform seems to have become the latest punching bag in the IT community.

Gartner drove that point home last month at its annual Symposium ITxpo. It ran a session called "Should Microsoft Kill SharePoint?" Jeffrey Mann, a Gartner research vice president, ran the session, and concluded the answer was "no," but pointed out the obstacles Redmond faces with the pressure to move SharePoint to the cloud.

Regulatory restrictions and complex custom implementations mean moving to SharePoint Online isn't even an option, he noted. Not all third-party tools work in the cloud version of SharePoint, either. Others don't trust the cloud or don't see a reason to move their implementations off-site.

Another big issue is the transition to the app model introduced with SharePoint 2013 and Office 365. With the Office Store opening this month for subscription apps, the pickings right now are pretty slim. However, Microsoft tells me they believe key SharePoint ISVs will move their offerings to the store.

Only 9 percent of small organizations plan to move all their SharePoint content to Office 365, while 2 percent of midsize and 3 percent of large shops plan to do so, according to a recent survey by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM). The survey also found 62 percent are using at least one cloud-based offering, but only 8 percent said it was SharePoint Online.

Yet many in the SharePoint community are seeing more movement to the cloud than these surveys suggest. SharePoint MVP Ben Curry, managing partner of Summit 7 Systems, a Huntsville, Ala., consultancy and systems integrator, says 80 percent of his customers are deploying some sort of hybrid cloud model.

What's the future of SharePoint in your shop? Drop me a line at jschwartz@1105media.com.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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