Is SharePoint just too big to work?

By | January 28, 2013

Is SharePoint simply to big to work for organisations now?

I was asked this today and could not immediately respond as I was pondering the question, chewing it over in my mind.

I’m going to think about this and update my musings accordingly.

If you have an opinion, feel free to chime in!

more to follow…

5 thoughts on “Is SharePoint just too big to work?

  1. Ian McNeice

    If I asked someone to draw a detailed map of their garden and then to extend it to the entire world, they would be too overwhelmed by the thought of the task to concieve of it or complete it. If, on the other hand I gave the person a map of the world into which I asked them to detail their garden, it would be perfectly feasible to do so. So it is with SharePoint. If one is to succeed in making the size of SharePoint work, one must define a simpe map of the entire business world and understand the size of it in simple terms, into which the elements of SharePoint are themselves then mapped. On the other hand, begin with simply a few features of SharePoint and some small business objectives in isolation and without the map or vision of the business world as a whole, and the task, like the garden analogy must be seen as inconceivable. The trick is to have the map of the world before starting to look at drawing the garden so that the task in hand is not so big as to be indigestable.

  2. symon garfield

    Morning Seb,

    No SharePoint isn’t too big to work. The problem is that to make it work in the business value sense takes information and knowledge management skills (and a strategy) and few organisations and even fewer SharePoint partners have those skills. Its a little like having a very large truck and no driving skills.


  3. Marc D Anderson

    The fact that people are asking the question means that it is, to some degree, true. While I agree with my esteemed colleagues above in everything they say, it, of course, depends.

    To me, Microsoft continues to expand the product such that smaller organizations are unlikely to be able to deploy and support it. The simple number of servers required with 2013 makes that likely.

    At the same time , there’s the Office365 offering, which reduces, if not the costs, the learning curves for administration and support. Yet it’s still a damn big elephant to the average end user, and it’s not getting any simpler.


  4. Andrew Walmsley


    My 2p worth…

    “Is SharePoint simply to big to work for organisations now?” – No it’s not in a similar way that platforms arguably much bigger like Oracle and SAP are also not too big for organisations to deploy. They happen now and will continue to happen, as they deliver a solution or capability that businesses want.

    As with any solution to a business problem, it’s just about applying the right set of tools, designs, resources and methods to solve it. Just because your ‘box of tools’ happens to be quite large, and getting bigger each year, it doesn’t go hand in hand that you will use them all, far from it in my experience.

    These other much larger platforms have a longer track record of playing in the enterprise space, and perhaps deal with this issue better. Which is part of the problem, as SharePoint in many current circles and historically isn’t given the ‘status’ or respect it needs for an enterprise ready platform.

    The challenge, as Simon infers is around having the right mix of skills and experience to select and deploy in the right manner, be that from internal, specialist or partner resources. So it’s not surprising it all starts to look a bit daunting. As Ian suggests, be aware of the bigger picture but put in place some small, manageable pieces that are also measurable so these can be used to demonstrate that the platform has credibility and integrity.

    Andrew Walmsley

  5. Chris Beckett

    I like the reference that Andrew made to ERP systems like Oracle and SAP. A big difference is that most organizations would not be dumb enough to think they can have their Domain Administrator just *install it* and then they have SAP >:( I don’t know anyone that thinks that deploying and operating SAP is easy.

    The continuing problem with SharePoint is the potentially (and in my experience real) gap between how businesses perceive it’s value to the organization (and therefore the resources they are willing to apply to deploying and operating it), and reality. There are the usual suspects that are already well known: IT driven, lack of business executive sponsorship, poorly defined strategy and alignment with organizational goals, lack of defined success metrics and governance… yada, yada.

    As with everything, it is all about the expectations.


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