As an organization running MOSS 2007 or SharePoint 2010, I am sure by now you must be on cross roads whether to move to SharePoint 2013 or jump to SharePoint 2016. And going by CIO’s pattern of early adoption of Microsoft’s products, they generally prefer to adopt one version behind the latest and greatest. But SharePoint 2016 has challenged the conventional thinking and emerged as far more stable version of the product.
Why consider SharePoint 2016 ?
- Cloud Readiness – Microsoft did provide cloud integration features in SharePoint 2016 in the form of a CU. But that has its own set of limitations when configuring search or authentication. SharePoint 2016 has been designed from ground up to support hybrid configuration. Which means, Microsoft has laid the groundwork for admins to move much of their dedicated environment out of the server closet. Use this as an opportunity to start exploring the cloud, because it’s coming. Fortunately, SharePoint 2016 makes it a little easier.
- Identity Management – With SAML support for SharePoint 2016, Identity Managaement (other than Active Directory) has been easier than ever. And with popular tools like Azure Active Directory, Okta & PingIdentity, SharePoint 2016 provides easier integration. The most imporant win here has been easy roll out of SharePoint to external users in extranet scenarios.
- Clean Migration – Governance is no longer a luxary for SharePoint 2016. It is necessity. The only option to move to SharePoint 2016 from legacy SharePoint version is database attach method where content is upgraded to every intermediate version until it is upgraded to SharePoint 2016. E.g. WSS 3.0/MOSS 2007 –> SharePoint 2010 –> SharePoint 2013 –> SharePoint 2016 . While it is good to move everything from legacy SharePoint to SharePoint 2016, use this opportunity to evalute what needs to move to SharePoint 2016. This can be solutions you installed you don’t use anymore or those Word documents from 1996. Prepare an inventory of what not to migrate before you move to SharePoint 2016.
- Mobile Interface – Use the SharePoint Mobile App to access your content on SharePoint 2016. Get your intranet in your pocket with the SharePoint mobile app. With easy on-the-go access, the SharePoint mobile app helps keep your work moving forward by providing quick access to your team sites, organization portals and resources, and the people you work with – across online in Office 365 and on-premises. You can see site activities, get quick access to recent and popular files, and view and arrange lists on your team sites. It will not only make you look cool in front of your executives but would increase the end user adoption for SharePoint and leverage this opportunity to get that BYOD strategy approved.
- Office Add-Ins – Yes, the erstwhile SharePoint Apps that are now called Office add-ins. Considering the level of customization you may have done on your existing MOSS 2007 or SharePoint 2010 envirionment, this is the right time to consider converting these custom solutions to SharePoint Apps. Supporting customizations on legacy versions of SharePoint has always been painful for Admins and developers.
- No SharePoint Foundation – Not all bad news is bad news. You can safely retire that one small foundation farm created for proof of concept but ended up as content management system having data more critical than your mainframe processing 2.5 million transactions per hour.
As a influencer or decision maker, it is imperative to consider migration to the latest version of SharePoint if you are running MOSS 2007 or SharePoint 2010. You have the following deployment choices while considering to move to SharePoint 2016
- SharePoint 2016 On Premise
- SharePoint 2016 on Azure
- SharePoint 2016 On Premise hybrid with Office 365
Each deployment model has benefits and limitations and each is driven by the business need, available budgets and your IT strategy. If you are interested in knowing your SharePoint 2016 readiness, please touch base with me using the contact me form.
IT strategy is all about deriving value from your IT Investments. And to derive value from collaboration investments, you must view collaboration as more than a technology deployment. Many companies lose a lot of potential value because they think of “collaboration” primarily as a category of technology. They wrongly assume that to support collaboration, they just have to buy the “right” IT tools. This, more often than not, leads to impulsive buying of disparate tools to support multiple requests with slight variations across different departments.
“Collaboration” is defined as “people working together on nonroutine cognitive work.” This activity is about behavior, work habits, culture, management, and business goals and value. Although there are commonly used tools, the concept of supporting collaboration doesn’t point in one technology direction or another. To devise a collaboration strategy that will advance your business goals, consider a wide range of interlocking issues. The most important function of the right collaboration strategy is to avoid tribalism. A “tribe” is any part of the organization that has turned inward, functions as a unique, separate identity and is loyal to its own department, division or section rather than to the organization as a whole. How do you go about addressing tribalism? What are the challenges that an organization sees while building an effective collaboration strategy ?
Why including collaboration strategy as part of IT Strategy important ?
- Collaboration in Silos – Many organizations start building their collaboration strategy away from their IT Strategy in a vacuum. Their efforts are at the most supported by middle managers trying to build a collaboration bridge between team A & team B without assessing the overall impact on the organization.
- Collaboration Governance – Collaboration Governance is mostly seen as a thing of the future. The attitude “let’s build a strategy first then build governance around it” seldom works.
- Accountability & Ownership – IT department ends up to be the ultimate owner only for support & compliance violations. Everything else is driven on autopilot mode.
- Value Proposition – Organizations often fail to associate a value to the collaboration strategy thereby making it difficult to identify success or failure. The result is generally in the direct proposition to tool adoption of the leadership team.
- Collaboration as By Product – Often, organizations try to leverage tools available with their core systems and build their collaboration strategy around these tools. For E.g When implementing exchange online, try to see how SharePoint/OneDrive would fit their collaboration needs.
How should they mitigate these challenges that can haunt the leadership team and prevent effective collaboration?
- IT Strategy defines both strategic and tactical goals which are further aligned to initiatives and projects. Aligning collaboration goals with strategic and tactical goals would result into proactive planning as well as defined projects rather than reactive implementation which either remains unfunded or is implemented with available funds in piece mill basis. For E.g If your critical business goal is to become premier service provider in healthcare services, the how collaboration would contribute to achieve that goal.
- Benchmark your collaboration effectiveness – Doing an inward as well as outward benchmark articulating how successful is collaboration internally as well as how is competition and organizations of same sizes achieving effective collaboration. This will help you right-size your collaboration efforts without overdoing it.
- Take stock of your existing tool stack and identify which tools can be leveraged for collaboration. Map these tools with collaboration touchpoints and build competency around those. But at the same time, eliminate those options that don’t serve any organization purpose or immediate need. E.g Yammer.
- Establish metrics around the effectiveness of these tools. Identify tangible and nontangible metrics like productivity, efficiency as well as reduction on emails and redundant storage in network drives.
- Establish Governance – Last but not the least, establish governance from day one. It may not be perfect or complete but the initial guidelines can set foundation for right policies and processes for using the tools.
Collaboration is all about people and never about tools. Its about empowering your users to connect with the right people at the right time and deliver results as a team. I would be happy to help you establish your collaboration roadmap. Reach out to me using the contact us page.