AIIM, the Association of Information and Image Management (www.aiim.org) recently released a report titled “Using SharePoint for ECM: How well is it meeting expectations?”
The report has some interesting findings on SharePoint usage in over 600 organizations which participated in the survey.
- 29% of the organizations are live on SharePoint 2007 and 28% are upgrading from 2007 to 2010 and an additional 8% have completed the upgrade.
This implies that more than half of all SharePoint 2007 users are upgrading or have already upgraded to 2010 for whatever reasons. An additional 21% of the user base is first time user of SharePoint 2010. This data is clearly in line with the fact that SharePoint is the best-selling Microsoft product till date.
- 55% of organizations are expected within a year to rollout SharePoint to 90-100% (almost all) of their employees.
This implies that these organizations very clearly understand that the real benefits of collaboration will come to fruition only if all employees are on the same platform, use the same interface and talk the same language.
- In terms of adoption, IT department of organizations is the highest (72%), followed by the line of business departments (41%) and then followed by Marketing and HR.
This is not surprising since IT departments would be instrumental in rolling out SharePoint to other departments. But it also raises a flag that unless other departments are equal if not more adopters of this platform, the technology will remain under-utilized.
Although, SharePoint has functionality to support conventional ECM activities like scanning, capture, records management and document workflow, most users are using SharePoint as a digital storage for office files and PDF documents, and do not yet trust it with confidential information or large size videos.
Is SharePoint the final answer?
SharePoint 2010 does claim to be a one stop solution for all collaboration and document management needs of an organization. However, the fine print is seen through some of the AIIM survey findings
- 50% or more organizations believe that they still need third party add-ons because SharePoint is not enough
- 20%-40% of the organizations feel that SharePoint functionality in records management, scanning and document capture, and social business are not up to the mark
Microsoft itself is encouraging independent application developers to develop add-on functionality around SharePoint. This implies that Microsoft probably intends to make SharePoint as an “operating system” for collaboration, as a platform on which other applications can be built. It is also possible that Microsoft wants to learn how people use these add-on applications for collaboration so that it can build some of these features into the next version of SharePoint.
Some of the most popular add-on functionality organizations are adding is workflow/BPM, security and rights management, search and analytics, archiving of content and records, taxonomy management, security management, interface to email, digital signatures and case management.
- 53% of organizations consider SharePoint to be their primary system for Enterprise Content Management going forward.
So currently, the scales are evenly balanced with a little more than half of the organizations believing that SharePoint is the final answer to their requirements.