This is the first of a six part series I created, Robust SharePoint Performance in the Emerging Distributed Enterprise: Turning the Potential for Chaos into the Means for Success, sponsored by Certeon. The remaining parts of the series will appear on this blog over the next two weeks.
The past 10 years have seen many changes that profoundly affect how businesses operate. A critical business necessity is now the ability to collaborate on an enterprise scale at the employee, business partner, and customer level. Supporting these interactions effectively is a competitive differentiator (see for example, McKinsey - The next revolution in interactions). At the same time, virtually every business and government organization has become distributed, stressing its ability to collaborate across different geographies, time zones, and even cultures.
These changes create extraordinary opportunities to increase productivity by taking advantage of content, collaboration, and communication technologies. Recognizing this, Microsoft has made major investments in SharePoint, its content and collaboration platform. That platform has matured into an enterprise application that is currently experiencing rapid deployment (see, AIIM - The SharePoint Puzzle).
While SharePoint is fast achieving dominance, one major challenge stands in the way of it realizing its full potential: SharePoint’s centralized architecture often results in long file and content transfer times for distributed organizations that depend on Wide Area Networks (WANs).
This discussion covers these performance concerns, their origins and implications, and offers a potential path for success.
Although a deployed platform can meet users’ functional requirements and performance expectations, lack of application and system responsiveness can lead to chaos and an ineffective workplace due to its negative impact on productivity and the resulting user complaints. All this can lead to a low platform adoption rate. This can cause chaos for enterprise IT – and potentially dangerous practices from a legal, regulatory and security perspective – as frustrated users take flight to the many alternative Web-based collaboration options now easily available.
Complaints from disappointed business units and users often lead to quick-reaction fixes that result in unplanned expenditures. Some companies increase bandwidth then and discover that the solution does not address the core problem. Microsoft recommends decentralizing application deployment, which creates a host of other management, administration, and usage issues.
This descent into chaos can be avoided. The solution is under IT’s control and can be managed by simply making improved user experiences (including those created by better system performance) a key part of the implementation plan. This series covers in part five a means to turn the looming potential for chaos into a path for success.
The next post in this series (9/24) covers: SharePoint's Potential: Enabling the Networked Enterprise.