ViewPoint: So SharePoint sucks, eh?

Three recent articles on SharePoint usage and deployment in business have been interesting to say the least. They also have a common theme.

SharePoint sucks!

Ah no, I’m joking. But it’s not far off. The common theme is about how SharePoint is used (or more likely not used) within a business.

Take this first article from Matt Roseff of CITE World. “How did SharePoint become the poster child for bad enterprise software?”

To be fair it’s a good headline but reading it further it doesn’t demonstrate a lot of what is wrong with SharePoint. What it does do is have a couple of SharePoint competitors to put their case (Huddle being one of them). And they make fair points about user adoption and ease of use. But the headline is misleading.

And so onto two articles that talk about deployment and migration. “The myth of the SharePoint Upgrade” is a great piece from Michal Pisarek in which he outlines scenarios for upgrading SharePoint and problems if you don’t think about it properly. His main point being that if your previous usage of SharePoint wasn’t great then an upgrade is not really going to solve your problems.

To continue this theme, there this a reasoned article, “Plan carefully now to avoid SharePoint deployment frustration later,” from Delaney Rebernick with an example from Wells Fargo on how they implemented SharePoint.

So back to the theme of it all. Ah yes, ‘SharePoint sucks!’ If SharePoint is put into an organisation without a clear strategy, plan, governance and management, well yes it will suck. Big time. I’ve been reading a lot lately about how and why SharePoint is deployed in companies and to be honest it is scary at the lack of thought that seems to go into it.

But…

There are many, many examples of good SharePoint deployments. Try here for a start at Top SharePoint. And have a look at the Nielsen Norman Group’s Intranet Design Awards in 2012 where the majority of winning intranets were deployed on SharePoint.* Shocking stuff, eh?

SharePoint is like any enterprise platform. There must be a strategy and a plan. You must manage it. And you must keep looking to improve it. Sometimes it sucks, sure. But it’s a not a bad platform, so use it properly.

* Note: have a read of the Intranetizen view of this which questions the methods of NMG and provides some context.

[EDIT] Edited thanks to Nancy.