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Study Finds SharePoint Employee Usage Remains a Challenge

SharePoint is widely deployed among organizations. But getting employees and specific groups to use it as their enterprise content and document management system remains a challenge, according to AIIM's Impact of SharePoint 2016 report.

AIIM, the large nonprofit and influential trade association covering the enterprise and information technology markets, released the findings of its latest SharePoint report this week. Based on a survey of 274 AIIM members in June, the report found that SharePoint use has increased incrementally, but more than half (58 percent) said SharePoint remains a challenge. The key problem is that 43 percent said employees or groups have their own preferred file-sharing applications for everyday usage, according to the report.

Nearly one quarter (23 percent) said they are planning hybrid environments, with plans to host a majority of their content in Office 365 SharePoint Online and some portion of data deemed sensitive remaining on premises. According to the survey, 17 percent of respondents are planning to move everything into the online version.

Also, despite the widely published release of SharePoint Server 2016 in May, only 23 percent are aware of what it offers, while 29 percent have no idea what it includes. A quarter said they're still on SharePoint Server 2010 and 41 percent on SharePoint Server 2013. Only 17 percent said they'll increase spending to upgrade to SharePoint Server 2016, while 13 percent say they'll purchase the new release for the first time and a mere 2 percent have gone live with it, though it only was in the market for a bit over a month when the survey was conducted.

The survey showed that SharePoint is the main enterprise content management/document management (ECM/DM) system among 28 percent of organizations, 13 percent said it's important to their overall ECM/DM environment and 22 percent report reluctant employees are hampering adoption of SharePoint.

Since its early release, many organizations have struggled to get broad groups of employees to use SharePoint. A substantial percentage (40 percent) said their SharePoint implementations aren't successful, with two-thirds (67 percent) having blamed that on inadequate user training, 66 percent said it's too difficult to use and 64 percent report that lack of support from senior management is the reason that their deployments have failed.

"I've heard personally from folks that have said senior management decided to deploy SharePoint because it's SharePoint but they have no clear understanding of what it's supposed to do," said Bob Larrivee, VP and chief analyst of AIIM Market Intelligence. "Change management is still a big issue when it comes to SharePoint." According to the survey, 58 percent of respondents cited change management for their reluctance to use SharePoint, with 51 percent blaming it on a lack of technical expertise and more than one-third pointing to inconsistent metadata classifications as a key problem.

Barry Jinks, CEO of Colligo, which, along with Gimmal, cosponsored the survey, said executive sponsorship is critical. "If you don't have senior management support and governance for SharePoint, people will say 'maybe I'll use SharePoint, maybe Dropbox, Box or seeming else,'" Jinks said. "So you get this mishmash of document storage solutions throughout a company."

Despite those challenges, there is some good news, with 58 percent saying that revitalizing their SharePoint projects through user training is a priority and 50 percent said they plan to update their SharePoint government policies. More than one-third (35 percent) say they plan to focus on making SharePoint their primary ECM.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 08/05/2016 at 2:04 PM


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