There is an old Hollywood joke about the four stages of an actor’s career, with apologies to Mr. Bacon:
- Who is Kevin Bacon?
- Get me Kevin Bacon!
- Get me a Kevin Bacon type!
- Who is Kevin Bacon?
Spurred on by recent dialogue with, and some great posts by, some of the SharePoint MVPs (with special shout-out to Marc Anderson), I’ve been thinking a lot about where SharePoint is in its lifecycle, and how its future factors into the future of content management and collaboration, so I wanted to jot down some thoughts about this:
Microsoft is putting forth, in response to feedback from its customers, many “SharePoint types,” in the form of “verbs” (Yammer, Sway, Delve, Mix) that help users present, consume, and share information in new ways, along with other, lighter-weight, collaborative technologies (OneDrive for Business, Office Graph, Office 365 Groups), in addition to rebranding SharePoint Online sites on Office 365 “Sites.”
So, what do we do amidst all this change?
1. Don’t be afraid. Like with many actors’ typical careers, even if the name isn’t remembered, the work still lives on, and people still watch movies. So it will be with content and collaboration challenges — people will still need answers to them. Even if the “brand” of SharePoint is fading fast, the “fabric” of the technologies will be around for a long time to come.
2. The tenets of running a good IT organization or a good business are not changing seismically, so it’s imperative for IT professionals/organizations to continue (hopefully) to do something that has been considered “table stakes” in IT for years: make sure the “utility” of IT runs like a utility, in terms of performance and predictability.
3. Up-skill your team. Realize that you cannot ignore the cloud, and the skills that you need to embrace it. That ship has sailed, with 94% of respondents to one recent SMB survey indicating that they have adopted solutions in the cloud, 87% in the “public,” cloud. If you haven’t educated yourself and your team in tools like federated identity management, edge security, web services, and client side development, to name a few, it’s time to make those a priority.
4. Make room for innovation. As Microsoft works to continually accelerate the pace at which it brings innovation to market, and we live in a world where people say things like, “If you love first version of your product, you launched too late. Make mistakes early, learn fast.”(Uri Levine, co-founder of Waze). What this means to me, action-wise, is that we continually need to find ways to get more agile, by experimenting, by trying many things and doubling down on what works.
RSM is equipped to help our clients map out their strategy relative to collaboration technologies, to fill in the skills gaps as our clients grow and change, and to help lead clients through:
- Small projects — a proof-of-concept on a particular piece of technology (how to integrate Yammer with an existing SharePoint portal to open up new communication paths), or a Rapid Assessment(tm) of a particular process or function
- Medium projects — deploying “point” solutions that solve specific business challenges, like SOX compliance or health and safety program management
- Large projects — transformational projects to build or change an entire function or organization, e.g., a five-year strategic plan for collaboration, incorporating many technologies.
To find out more about this or other ways that RSM can assist you with your SharePoint needs, contact McGladrey’s technology consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.