SharePoint’s ‘Revolutionizing’ Impact on IT?

by Richard Harbridge on May 27, 2010

I was just reading Dux’s latest article on CMSWire and left a short comment. I wanted to post it here as well to hopefully hear other peoples opinions on the subject of how SharePoint impacts IT and perhaps ‘revolutionizes IT‘.

In both their perception and execution of IT services the functional area of the business can drastically change as a result of implementing SharePoint.

The impact SharePoint has on IT as a functional area of the business is an interesting one. Anyone in the IT industry or anyone with an IT degree, might guess that there is a huge impact in terms of capacity but I wanted to talk about another impact. I wanted to talk about how something like SharePoint can change or greatly influence how IT operates, how they are viewed, and how they function within an organization.

SharePoint is more of a service oriented or internal consultation oriented platform within an organization than most traditional IT applications and implementations.

Take email and exchange as an example: Historically this really just required turning on, installing, and keeping it running smoothly and users would get the value without much IT engagement.

What about Microsoft Office? Same sort of scenario. It’s the deployment that was the hard part in getting it on many computers within the organization.

For the most part it was (historically) the deployment and operations of enterprise applications accounted for the hardest parts in most technology implementations.

With SharePoint (and other enterprise platforms) it’s a fundamentally different focus. The engagement and support from a human side (most of the time) are the hardest (and often most costly) parts; not the deployment and operational aspects.

* Note there is a significant challenge from a deployment and operational side as well, I am just stating that I believe information architecture, business analysis, support, user adoption, governance, and other human related aspects are more costly and require greater effort in a successful enterprise implementation.

To take it one step further…

Why would SharePoint have a stronger potential impact over say ERP systems? I think it is because SharePoint is more focused on users building their own systems than most enterprise platforms (like ERP and CRM etc). So perhaps the impact (from a numbers perspective) is far greater.

I am grossly over simplifying my argument here, but I guess what I am getting at is that IT as a result of implementing SharePoint can be ‘revolutionized’. In both their perception and execution of IT services the functional area of the business can drastically change.

Have you seen it happen before? I believe I have.
Richard Harbridge

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