This is the third of a six part series, 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 my series will appear on this blog over the next two weeks.
The mix of SharePoint users’ requirement for instant access, coupled with the global distribution of the organization leads to a major dependence on WANs and often leads to disastrous user experiences.. Effective collaboration can become the victim, and this can destroy the many benefits of the networked enterprise.
As previously noted, the potential for failure lies in the fact that many of today’s enterprise applications, including SharePoint, are built with a centralized architecture that performs much better in a LAN environment. Documents and pages can include Web Parts, style sheets and images that can slow down the downloadtimewhen accessed over a WAN, due to inherent WAN latency issues. A 10 to 20 minute document download , across multiple team members, leads to a huge amount of downtime . Downtime is unacceptable when seen on our tangible assets, so how can it be acceptable for the intangible asset that drives the value of the enterprise?
Downtime frustrates users and leads to a return to file sharing through email. Even more destructive, disappointed users may seek alternative solutions among the new breed of free content-sharing tools available on the Web. Employees can easily use alternatives solutions like Dropbox, Google Docs, Microsoft SkyDrive, and many other smaller, less well-known options. When use of non-sanctioned alternatives to SharePoint becomes widespread in an organization, serious issues such as duplication of effort, increased errors, inappropriate sharing of confidential documents, lack of version control, and lack of centralized backup and recovery can lead to severe security and control issues. This was already seen in mid-2012, when Dropbox admitted that hackers had compromised some of its user accounts. And security issues are by no means unique to Dropbox.
In addition, unsanctioned migration subverts standards for content management, creates a proliferation of content silos, and drives further enterprise content chaos. When users cannot get their job done efficiently using the tools provided, they seek alternative methods to help them work. It is virtually impossible for IT to stop the use of alternatives without addressing the core issues associated with inadequate user experience. System performance is a critical issue that must be addressed as part of the deployment. It may actually be more important than many of the features that currently have IT’s attention.
In my next post I cover, Why We Often Overlook Application Performance During Deployment