4 SharePoint 2010 Truths for SharePoint 2007 Organizations

If you think everyone in the world but your organization has moved to SharePoint 2010, you might be feeling unjustifiably lonely. A survey conducted for SharePoint managed services provider Azaleos this year found that 59 percent of SharePoint product deployed is SharePoint 2007.

The reasons for staying on 2007 are typically budget-related, according to Azaleos VP Scott Gode. He notes that organization budget cycles determine migration, with allocations going to new hardware for SharePoint 2010 first.

“It’s an order of magnitude more complex than 2007, which makes adoption seem slower,” adds Jason Dearinger, director of SharePoint Services. “A big driving factor is really based off of ‘We’ve got it installed but we don’t know what to do with it.’”

The Azaleos guys can see SharePoint’s features as well as its pitfalls, based on their perspective as a managed service provider for SharePoint. The takeaway? If you want to get on SharePoint 2010, get informed, be careful, and plan your little hearts out.

The good news: SharePoint is flexible. “SharePoint is such a malleable platform,” Dearinger says. “It can bend to the requirements of the business.”

The bad news: SharePoint is flexible. “On the flip side, that comes with a cost,” Dearinger says. “Morphing to that business requirement generates more cost than they originally anticipated.”

The good news: SharePoint has a ready and willing partner ecosystem. “You have a huge partner community making connectors for SharePoint,” Gode says.

The bad news: “It’s a Catch-22 for a platform,” says Gode. “If a customer comes to partner A and says “I want to do this,” they’re not going to tell that customer no. They can write the app and they don’t have to worry about the effects.”

The good news: SharePoint is a user-driven platform. In fact, in the case of 2007, a lot of organizations got into it on a departmental level.

The bad news: This led to a lot of SharePoint sprawl. Which led to admin headaches, adds Dearinger: “There’s a lot of ‘why didn’t I do this?’ Things I wish I’d known—whether it be storage, governance, taxonomy,” dog admins, who often learn hard lessons after the fact. To that end, Dearinger and Gode offer some SharePoint maxims:

1. SharePoint needs planning.“It follows the 80/20 rule—80 percent is planning, 20 percent is execution. People need to be aware of the amount of planning to make SharePoint successful,” Gode says.

2. SharePoint needs monitoring
.“SharePoint is a living thing,” Dearinger says. “It needs that care and feeding week in and week out, to catch things before they happen.”

3. SharePoint needs securing. “People can paint themselves into security corners,” Dearinger says. “Managing security can be a full-time job.”

4. SharePoint needs storage. "Be aware of hidden costs,” says Dearinger. “SharePoint workspace, it’s always phoning home. It can drive up your overall resource cost.” Another hidden cost: external search. The index file size is 15-20 percent of the total corpus size, Dearinger notes. “Organizations say ‘hey this is great, now let’s turn SharePoint to indexing 4TBs of content.’ Next thing you know, they’ve blown out their SharePoint servers just by searching.”

Speaking of SharePoint performance, Jason has a blog post up on the Azaleos site that you might want to check out, called “10 Ways to Optimize SharePoint 2010 for Peak Performance.”

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