There has been much talk lately about organizations moving their business critical applications and content to the cloud and embracing the benefits of Office 365. In general, there is still trepidation about the cloud with many customers, consultants, analysts, systems integrators, and even key Microsoft vendors. Some customers currently using the SharePoint collaboration platform cannot go to the cloud due to regulatory restrictions or complex, customized implementations that would prevent adopting the SharePoint online service with Office 365. Many organizations are still using older versions of SharePoint (such as 2007) and have found cumbersome the requirement to migrate to 2010 prior to being able to move content to the cloud or latest version of SharePoint, 2013. Many surveys validate that enterprises will likely continue to adopt hybrid models for the meantime due to many of these complexities, keeping with their existing deployments of SharePoint 2010, or 2007, in some cases.
The Cloud. There is no question that’s where we’re headed. Microsoft remains very committed to SharePoint and is quick to point out the platform is a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, citing it plays a critical role in the future of collaboration and productivity, is a core pillar of the Office 365 suite, and 2 out of 3 information workers use SharePoint and over 700,000 developers are building applications for Office 365. Office 365 is the fastest-growing Microsoft commercial product ever, on a $1.5 billion annual revenue run rate. Microsoft recently clarified that it will release a major service pack early next year for SharePoint with many enhancements for on-premise and online, which many customers have been waiting on for support validation.
SharePoint has always been about sharing documents, information, tasks and providing the collaboration and productivity experience customers need to get work done. Today, those capabilities are broadening even more to serve key organizational needs such as content management, more complex workflows, enterprise search, enterprise social, and business intelligence. Organizations are looking to simplify integration and management of these components, and SharePoint, if deployed, configured, and administered properly and in an ongoing fashion, can reduce the TCO footprint.
Enterprises have to continually assess leveraging their technology investments to improve efficiency, collaboration between employees, business units, vendors, and most certainly relationships with valuable customers. Hybrid deployment models enable enterprises to pursue the cloud as part of a journey that suits their current business needs, rather than a destination without a bridge in between.
Whatever path your organization decides to take, much thought needs to go into the strategy to meet your needs today leveraging your current infrastructure investments, while defining a roadmap and validation on where you can really leverage this platform into the future. Many customers are looking to re-assess their server farms or architecture, taking a hard look at redefining workflows to stay in line with changed business processes, migrating or structuring more content from other sources, or tapping into the powerful component of ideas from their best resource, their people, and truly growing the adoption of the platform.
Charter Global has helped many organizations with these challenges, and can help connect the essential pieces of your unique business and evolving needs. Let us be a resource in the coming year to ensure your organization’s success!