Using SharePoint as a Strategic IT Capability

There are two great new posts from Dachis Group colleagues Dion Hinchcliffe and Lee Bryant that are worth reading together:

  1. Dion identifies three key concerns for IT when preparing for social business as a strategic IT capability.
  2. Lee Bryant discusses how to take your SharePoint implementation to the next level.

Lee argues that:

it is best to treat SharePoint as a base platform on which to build user-facing features. Use the platform to provide Office integration, authentication, document management and portal services, but build as much user-facing functionality as possible above SharePoint, either by leveraging one of the many complementary specialist products that sit on top of SharePoint

This idea of using SharePoint as a “capability layer” fits squarely within the approach Dion outlines, where IT departments should:

  • Vigorously encourage social computing standards, but don’t be held back by their immaturity;
  • Actively support business-centric social media platform selections; and
  • Proactively enable independent social media action on the ground with strong IT support.

In fact, Lee goes on to describe four worst practices for SharePoint implementations:

  1. Install it and they will come.
  2. Customised to death.
  3. IT-implemented silos.
  4. Technology tail wags the business dog.

If you consider these as symptoms of failure at an IT management level rather than the software itself, then the imperative to address Dion’s concerns listed above becomes critical if you want to use SharePoint in your social business technology architecture.