One of the things I’ve realized over the years, popular technology adoption does not equate to business productivity. It may actually be the reverse; when a technology becomes all the rage and takes on fad-like status, it rapidly gets out of control resulting in all manner of side effects.
SharePoint is one such example. Being touted as the application backlog silver bullet: “End-Users can build their own collaboration applications themselves leaving I.T to work infrastructure an enterprise applications. I think I heard this story before with MS Access and Excel. Now CIOs and Business Executives are left with thousands of unmanaged applications with critical corporate information distributed on workstations and laptops across the enterprise.
This is not a critique of MSOffice or SharePoint far from it, it’s more of a condemnation of how adoption is managed or rather mismanaged in organizations. Despite all the talk of governance and adoption maturity levels most of these are applied to the installation of the technology not its productive use. I watch as technologist, I.T consultants, and sales representatives promote technology virtues with all sorts of hyperbole in amazement knowing that an organization is lucky to get one fifth of those benefits. Not because the technology can’t deliver, but rather the organization can’t incorporate usage best practices as well as installation best practices.
A simple proof point how many MS Access and Excel spreadsheets are used in your organization to manage core work? How many are managed as a critical asset? How much of the information is duplicated in some form or version of the truth? And now you’re going to enable end users to do the same in SharePoint by creating their own sites?
This is not a call to ban end-user site generation, more so a suggestion that education and training on information management for information workers (i.e., most of us now) is becoming a critical need more so than simple computer literacy. Either we learn how to manage our information better or we’ll drown in a information glut of our own making. Consider joining organizations such as AIIM and DAMA are providing some thought leadership in this area.
www.satory.com –where I hang my Architect and Futurist hat most of the time