Welcome to 2012, which promises to be a hugely exciting year for the SharePoint community! As I promised last week, I’m sharing with you the predictions of SharePoint experts, MVPs, and leaders in the community. I asked each to look into their crystal ball and to divulge what they foresee for 2012, both for SharePoint, the community, and for themselves.
I was overwhelmed by the level of participation I received this year. Several dozen folks responded, so this will be a very interesting journey! It’s fascinating to see the diverse and sometimes unexpected things that this gang of experts predict!
RADI ATANASSOV spent 2011 building up his SharePoint business, OneBit Software, evangelizing and making the most out of his Microsoft Certified Master certificate and spending most of the years’ days as the development architect for a few very enterprise projects in Australia. Radi is also a seasonal SharePoint trainer and conducts SharePoint courses at a university, putting a lot of effort into developing SharePoint young-guns.
You will definitely see Radi fanaticizing about SharePoint development at various SharePoint conferences throughout 2012. Here’s what Radi said about 2012:
“So for 2012, if a meteor doesn’t smash your office building, SharePoint will (in a good way!). Office365 is out and making a blast. We will see business jump on the cloud flight and evolve into providing cloud products and solutions. 2012 will be a key year to spread knowledge on how to work with SharePoint online and create value for businesses.
We will see some really good quality solutions out there as the growth of SharePoint has led to a huge increase in demand, and over the past few years a noticeable increase in talent. Many of us bet that 2012 will also give us vNext, a key event in the lives of many of us. Like 2010, vNext will have a drastic effect on the strategies and targets of SharePoint businesses like OneBit Software.”
I reached TODD BAGINSKI today while he was driving home from the gym after running laps in the pool as part of his ski training regimen. In 2010, Todd did a significant amount of work creating training kits for the next version of SharePoint Online and for how to integrate with Azure as well as SharePoint on-premises environments.
When he wasn’t building training kits for Microsoft or creating the new Microsoft Visio website, he created the SharePoint and Windows Phone 7 Training Kit and spoke at several SharePoint conferences. He blogs at www.toddbaginski.com/blog and tweets at @toddbaginski. He shared his thoughts:
“It’s funny that you ask about a prediction because as we look back on last year’s prediction, we can see that luckily it was pretty on the mark. More companies moved to hosted (cloud-based) SharePoint environments, especially Office 365, and started implementing more client-side solutions than ever before.
“Looking forward to next year, I’m going predict some of the same things again. The aforementioned technologies are still gaining momentum, and we will see them used more often in the year to come. I also predict we will see more and more mobile applications being built for B2B and B2C as the demand for such applications increases.
I caught up with ROBERT BOGUE (SharePoint Shepherd, @RobBogue) and asked him to turn his Shepherd’s staff into a divining rod. He provided the following predictions about the year ahead: “Critical mass will lead us to really evaluating how our adoption of SharePoint is going – whether we’re getting the business value we intended out of the platform.
“SharePoint sprawl will drive organizations to consider governance for their implementations. The problem of information overload and poor findability will reignite the calls for knowledge and information management – and we’ll start hiring back the corporate librarians who lost their positions years ago.”
CHRISTIAN BUCKLEY (@buckleyplanet) is an evangelist with Axceler, a SharePoint ISV and Microsoft Gold Partner. An active speaker, writer, and blogger, Christian is a SharePoint expert for AIIM.org, is a coauthor of the forthcoming book Creating and Implementing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Real-World Projects, and maintains a personal blog at buckleyPLANET.com.
Christian was recently recognized for all of his contributions to the community with the MVP Award. Congrats, Christian!!!
He writes: “My prediction for SharePoint in 2012 is that people will focus more on productivity solutions, such as building a working (and greatly simplified) Project Server solution, and some kind of plug-and-play social dashboard with metrics and audit reporting.
“I think we’ve started to see the shift of focus from keeping the servers up and running, to solving business problems – and I predict that many SIs and ISVs will catch on and develop solutions that will expedite the rise of productivity-focused SharePoint solutions. Also, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez will break up in 2012. #imjustsaying”
GEOFF EVELYN is a Scotland-based SharePoint MVP having great fun with SharePoint implementation, focusing on service delivery, adoption, and planning. When not playing the sax as loud as possible, and falling off horses, he publishes many free articles and tools, all available from his website at SharePoint Geoff and at Codeplex.
He writes loads of SharePoint articles and authored Managing and Implementing SharePoint 2010 Projects (Microsoft Press) and coauthored MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft Word Expert, Excel Expert, Access, and SharePoint (OReilly). Geoff’s predictions for 2012 are as follows:
“More companies adopting an impetus in full planning and implementation of the platform. More information workers embracing SharePoint as a product they wish to learn and get accreditation on alongside their day-to-day usage of Office 2010, using the Microsoft Office Specialist certification. More emphasis on service delivery: As SharePoint integrates more, so do the users’ expectation of availability and support. A bigger move from the technical SharePoint community to embrace a systems analyst approach to delivering SharePoint solutions; particularly finding cleaner ways to standardize on delivery of those solutions.”
BRIAN FARNHILL is a SharePoint Server MVP based in Canberra, where he helps run the Canberra SharePoint user group. He has been working with SharePoint for several years, and has a wide expertise in web content management solutions, custom development, and customizing the SharePoint UI, and is a regular speaker at many community events around Australia.
“I think over the next 12 months we are going to see more SharePoint used as a content management system for things such as public-facing websites, and digital marketing in general.
“Talking with folks that I come across, there is a decent amount of interest in being able to take SharePoint on board for this type of project, and with people are sharing their experiences in using the platform for this and knowledge in general around how to get the most out of it on the rise, now is going to be the time to get on the band wagon.”
CHRIS GIVENS is a well-respected consultant, expert, entrepreneur, and author of many courses in the Microsoft Learning courseware library. I was lucky enough to work with Chris on the MOC course for configuring SharePoint, 10174. Chris predicts:
“2012 will be the year of consolidation, both in the space of SharePoint software and consulting. With the tough market atmosphere, and limited talent pool, you will see a huge shift in that talent and hence the momentum of those companies.
“It is unfortunate, but true, that SharePoint software and consulting companies work just like the hot new club and restaurant that only attracts the crowd for six months. If they can’t reinvent themselves, they won’t survive and must be assimilated.
“It takes an innovative work atmosphere, compensation package, and an agile approach to the market to keep pace with the fast changes coming to the next release of SharePoint. Those that can accomplish this evolution will be positioned to keep and/or take market share in 2013. You will also continue to see the ‘income’ gap increase between the super-talented (pay will go up) and average talented SharePoint consultants (pay will go down).”
MICHAEL GRETH (sharepointcommunity.de/mgreth + sharepointpodcast.de) is the founder of the German SharePoint community, a podcaster, and specialized in no-code-solutions with SharePoint Designer. I worked with Michael last October, where he organized a workshop in Berlin. Follow him @mysharepoint.
“2012 will be the social year of SharePoint here in Germany. Lots of companies have deployed SharePoint, doing the collaboration and document stuff, and now they are looking for the next step -- microblogging, real-time collaboration, profiles, and all the other things they use from Facebook, Twitter, and other web 2.0 services.
“It will be a challenge to get the users on board and to deliver the right services through the SharePoint platform. As SharePoint offers basic social features, third-party tools like Attini, Beezy, Newsgator and others will help with their add-ons.
“To support the community, we will start a new site called sharepointsocial.de in January. The main goal of the site is to help users to get SharePoint up and running as a social platform for their business, not only helping with the technical part but providing tips and tricks for user adoption.”
JASON HIMMELSTEIN (http://www.sharepointlonghorn.com, @sharepointlhorn), SharePoint Practice Director for Sentri and author of the upcoming O’Reilly book SharePoint for Business Intelligence, took a few minutes out of his vacation back to the great state of Texas to share what he sees in his crystal ball:
“2012 is going to be the year that Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) really gets its legs. The new features that are coming in SQL Server 2012 are world changing and are going to help SharePoint adoption drive to its highest point ever.
“As many organizations are finally feeling confident in SharePoint 2010 now that it has reached SP 1, they will be pushed over the edge by the new self-service BI capabilities that the new BISM model enables. PowerPivot v2 and Power View are going to revolutionize Microsoft BI , and coupled with Reporting Services and PerformancePoint, we will see it start to be a real catalyst for organizational change toward SharePoint.”
SharePoint records management specialist JOHN HOLLIDAY checked in from Amelia Island, Florida, with some interesting thoughts about how the SharePoint market will evolve in the coming year. John is the CEO of SharePoint Architects, founder of the SharePoint Developer Network and is the author of Professional SharePoint 2007 Records Management Development.
He blogs at www.johnholliday.net and is busy writing a new book about records management on SharePoint 2010. He is also developing training materials and tools for professional records managers.
"As budgets continue to tighten and cloud-based services (including SharePoint) continue to proliferate, 2012 will see increased pressure on small businesses to take advantage of the significant cost savings that the SaaS and PaaS models offer. At the same time, the growing shortage of skilled SharePoint developers will increase the demand for newer and better tools and techniques for delivering turnkey solutions.
“These combined forces will lead to a new wave of RAD tools and rich internet applications that are tied to the cloud and that provide higher levels of functionality than we’ve seen so far. These applications will become more industry- and domain-specific and will put more control into the hands of knowledge workers, but poor governance and the lack of sound information architecture and best practices guidance will continue to threaten the overall perception of value that the SharePoint technology platform brings to the organizations adopting it."
DEBBIE IRELAND (SharePoint MVP, www.debbiesblog.co.NZ, www.envisionit.co.nz, www.SPevents.co.NZ) had a super busy 2011 as CEO of New Zealand’s leading SharePoint training organization, where the urgent need for training was highlighted constantly through companies who have had SharePoint a while and want to understand what they have. Debbie also ran four successful SharePoint conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong, which once again confirmed the thirst in people who attended, wanting to further their SharePoint knowledge, up skill, and learn how to realize more for their investments.
Debbie sees these trends in training and education maintaining, and growing through 2012, as people acknowledge the absolute must for their companies to provide appropriate support if they want to see organic adoption and engagement and more importantly continuous improvement through the tools SharePoint provides.
The interest from attendees at the conferences shows a more mature model (down under in New Zealand and Australia in any case....) so while bedding down the “SharePoint they have,” people are now looking to extend, more in online forms for improving processes, more BI and dashboards....more third-party products to achieve the returns they are after.
Debbie also sees the SharePoint theme for 2012 as a continued “Right Place, Right Time, Right Information” (as the Australia SharePoint conference http://www.sharepointconference.com.au and NewZealand SharePoint conference http://www.sharepointconference.co.NZ will reveal in March 2012). This embraces the anywhere/anytime situation of being in the cloud and also multiple (and improved) devices, being mobile, the use of virtual teams, plus faster access to information that enables the right decisions and therefore the optimal outcomes.
KANWAL KHIPPLE, SharePoint MVP, has the fortunate pleasure to be part of the amazing team at BrightStarr, The SharePoint Experts, as their principal SharePoint architect, as well as a Microsoft VTSP for SharePoint Public Facing sites within the New York / New Jersey area. Despite traveling 80,000 kilometers in 2011, including his first trip to England, he still loves coming home to his wife Hardip and son Paras.
Kanwal had this to say about his predictions and focus for SharePoint in 2012: “Look for 2012 to be the year that CxOs and decision makers seriously consider SharePoint as the platform for their public-facing sites as well as leverage SharePoint 2010 for their very own private social networks.
“In the past year, SharePoint has become synonymous with intranet portals. As more and more organizations, become familiar with the feature set they start looking at rebranding and revolutionizing their outdated sites – what better way than to leverage a platform that they are already using internally and channel that experience to SharePoint 2010 for Internet Sites.
“As many internal SharePoint deployments mature, organizations will start look to look at additional features and functionality to assist and encourage adoption – governance, training as well as having their own private social network.
“For those organizations that are still on SharePoint 2003 or another platform, 2012 will also be the year of the upgrade. There’s no denying the gravitational pull that SharePoint’s feature set provides for organizations that demand higher ROI.
“My focus for 2012, will be to help end users work with SharePoint on any device by making their SharePoint solutions mobile friendly. I’ll be reaching out to our existing and new SharePoint Enterprise customers who have expressed interest in having SharePoint applications targeted towards the mobile users.”
If there’s one thing you need to do today, that is connect with Kanwal on Twitter @kkhipple and on LinkedIn. For every other day, follow @sharepointbuzz for the latest SharePoint tweets.
TODD KLINDT kept himself pretty busy in 2011 installing and upgrading people to SharePoint 2010. He chronicles his many SharePoint adventures at http://www.toddklindt.com/blog.
Currently he’s enjoying an unseasonably warm winter in Iowa and trying to recover from a near-cookie overdose incident at Christmas time. If you’d like to chat about SharePoint, or swap cookie recipes you can contact him on Twitter @toddklindt.
Predictions: “2011 was a pretty hot year for SharePoint, and I think 2012 will be even hotter. In 2011 I did a lot of upgrades from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010, but I think I’ll see more in 2012. Budgets are starting to loosen up, and all the buzz around SharePoint has people excited, they want to get on the SharePoint 2010 train.
“While SharePoint 2010 has been out for a while, I think in 2012 businesses will expand how they use SharePoint, especially in the BI space. Bosses love those pretty colors and graphs.
“More BI will mean more headaches for administrators. I predict more administrators will become very intimate with some of SharePoint’s scariest bits, Kerberos and claims. This will lead to more questions on SharePoint forums about these topics, and more time on psychiatrist’s couches.
“Speaking of the SharePoint train, I predict the public will get its first glimpse of the next model in 2012. I also predict it will knock their socks off. I don’t think the next version will RTM in 2012, but bits we will see will be amazing. If it is possible, I think the peek we get in 2012 of the next version will get people even more excited about SharePoint. I know, that’s a tall order.”
MATTHEW MCDERMOTT, dog guy, foodie, and SharePoint MVP thinks that 2012 will be the “Year of Search.” “Think about it, we’ve been cramming content into SharePoint since 2003. Now we have the best tools for connecting to Enterprise Systems through the BCS.
“With SharePoint search, organizations can search not only documents, but data. By using search you can offload the query burden from the database to your query servers.”
Asked what his clients are looking at, Matt responded “They are calling me in to talk specifically about search. They either have a search appliance that they want to replace with SharePoint (and reduce their licensing cost) or they want to start a new project to surface data to their users through search. I am excited; it follows the trend of doing more with less. In this case, using the tools that you have paid for, like SharePoint, enables IT organizations to serve their customers without additional IT expenditure.”
Matthew is a director with Aptillon, Inc. A SharePoint MVP with expertise in Collaboration, Search, and Web content management, Matthew spends his free time with his lovely wife and two amazing dogs.
CHRIS MCNULTY is the SharePoint Strategic Product Manager for Quest Software, a SharePoint MVP, and an all-around good guy! He sees 2012 as the year of the calm before the storm….
“With SharePoint vNext still over a year away, organizations that have already upgraded to 2010 will take advantage of the extra lead time to concentrate and consolidate their content on 2010. A key enabler is an improved understanding about how to use RBS and related storage providers to engineer massively large content databases.
“As a result, organizations grappling with merger related integrations, decentralized independent SharePoint islands, and/or retirement of high cost legacy ECM platforms will lead the charge. Content outposts will become smoothly centralized into the SharePoint core.”
MARK MILLER, one of the more prolific speakers in the SharePoint community, wrote the following:
“I predict that starting in 2012 and continuing into the foreseeable future, all major on-premises SharePoint implementations will be teleported to an alien spacecraft which has been following the Hale-Bopp Comet since 1998, one year prior to Operation Tahoe. At the conclusion of the teleportation sequence, all on-premises implementations of SharePoint, as we currently know it, will cease to exist.”
AGNES MOLNAR (http://aghy.hu, @molnaragnes) was enjoying her well-deserved holiday season at the end of a wild year when I reached her. I love to see how happy she is in her Senior Search Solutions Consultant role at BA Insight. The only thing I wish is more content from her in 2012. She predicts 2012 will be much more search-focused in the enterprise:
“During the last couple of years, companies started to recognize that having more and more amount of information in the enterprise drives us to bigger and bigger, unorganized information silos with a lot of separated data stores and systems where finding the right information is mostly impossible. Enterprise search has more and more emphasis, and my prediction is a continuous growth on this market in 2012, with complex search solutions and more and more focus on search-based applications.”
MICHAEL NOEL wrote one of the original books on SharePoint as part of the Unleashed series and continues to write fresh versions of that book, currently working on a new one for SharePoint 15. He has spent the better part of the past two years in the air traveling between speaking engagements at various SharePoint conferences and racking up nearly 600,000 flight miles in 2010 and 2011 alone. I spoke with him on one of those few moments when he wasn’t strapped to a chair at 30,000 feet and asked him his predictions for 2012. Michael had the following to say:
“I see 2012 being a very interesting year for SharePoint infrastructure, mostly because of the release of SQL Server 2012 (Denali) and the SQL Server Database Mirroring improvements that will become supported for SharePoint. It will now become possible to create up to four copies of a SharePoint content database, including multiple asynchronous and synchronous replicas. For those familiar with Exchange Server 2010, this is the equivalent of the ‘Database Availability Group’ concept, where failover of your content can occur to multiple locations, including remote datacenters.
“This type of architecture will really change the nature of disaster recovery for SharePoint and is an exciting concept for SharePoint architects. I plan on creating a session to demonstrate this for 2012, expect to see that at a conference near you! Oh, and I also predict some frozen fingers and toes this January as the Sharing the Point team (Dan included) heads to Antarctica for the first-ever SharePoint conference on the 7th Continent (http://www.sharingthepoint.org)! Will be exciting…
The not-retired JOEL OLESON, community leader and social media guru predicts that social tools will become more ubiquitous and businesses will look beyond the status quo to social enhancements in out-of-the-box SharePoint. SharePoint continues to be the gateway drug to enterprise social needs. The global SharePoint community will get larger and larger but feel smaller and smaller. SharePoint BI with iPad will gain favor with execs as SQL Server 2012 early adoption drives mobile BI solutions. Rich mobile interfaces on SharePoint become way more important.
ASIF REHMANI (SharePoint-Videos.com contributor and Critical Path Training trainer) has been a busy guy this year with numerous in-person classes, enhancing the learning resources at SharePoint-Videos.com site with lots of new content and features, many conference speaking gigs and one-on-one consulting engagements.
Throughout all his initiatives, he's been preaching about the importance of training ALL your SharePoint users to all who would listen. I caught up with him as he was wrapping up an exciting year and gearing up for 2012. Here's what he had to say:
“It has been an awesome year with the release and excitement around Microsoft's Office 365 offering. We finally have an amazing cloud story that competes with all the other big players out there. As I look towards next year, I can bet that all the major cloud players (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon) will be upping the ante for users becoming loyal to their platform. Microsoft has a huge advantage in this play since there's nothing like SharePoint Online (which comes as part of Office 365) out there.
“Many small to large organizations will buy into either the complete or the hybrid options for Office 365 in 2012, and more and more will start realizing that to take full advantage of this platform, they will need to empower their users to understand all that SharePoint Online can do and how they can take their existing applications and processes and port them to the Office 365 platform. This is where initiatives such as Microsoft's iUseSharePoint and online training resources such as SharePoint Videos will become critical to the success of using SharePoint effectively within organizations.”
CHRIS RILEY gets daily IVs filled with technology. His passion is in the area of bleeding-edge productivity technologies. He specializes in Enterprise Content Management (ECM), document imaging, and virtualization. He is currently the product manager at a CA startup called CloudShare, which offers full virtual machines (VMs) in the cloud for SharePoint development and testing. He regularly speaks at SharePoint Saturdays and other industry events on topics of knowledge worker efficiency, information governance, and planning for IT project success. His twitter handle is @HoardingInfo.
“2012 Prediction: This year’s nebulous terms “BI,” “SharePoint 2010,” and “cloud” will morph into terms of value. In 2011 you could talk for hours about cool things like SharePoint and cloud, without ever saying anything of value. In 2012 this will not be acceptable. If you use the word SharePoint 2010 without talking about it in a business context, or cloud without explaining the use case, you will get laughed at.
“Experts will guide conversations to more specific uses of technology such as SharePoint as a records management system, and cloud as a replacement for all temporary infrastructure. And finally this year, I hope, the term BI either goes away, or becomes what it was meant to be. In 2011, if someone said they wanted BI they could be talking about three possible things. In 2012, the use cases of performance metrics, self-service data analysis, and data mining will all be referenced as separate topics, as they should be.
“I also predict that the world of SharePoint leaders will embrace ECM methodologies as the proper way to address content management. In the past, the SharePoint world treated SharePoint as a direct replacement for shared drives—realizing later this only created a modern version of an existing problem.
“The community has started to embrace proper ECM methodologies such as document holds, taxonomy, folksonomy, document IDs, information architecture. This will open the doors even more and focus on governance and planning. Can we get to a point where you blueprint SharePoint before you touch a single settings page? I hope so.
“I predict that SaaS and IaaS SharePoint offerings will continue to evolve and be the talk of the town. They will start incorporating more advanced aspects of the platform such as Remote BLOB Storage (RBS), and claims. Office 365 will take the leading position for SMBs, and more robust deployments of SharePoint in the “cloud” will be deployed elsewhere.
“Many companies will test the water of Amazon Web Services (AWS) for SharePoint and find out it’s not there yet, then turn to more specific solutions such as Fpweb.net or Rackspace. The cloud will become a replacement for SharePoint development, testing, POC. While production cloud providers or on-premise farms will still dominate for production deployments.
“And finally ISVs outside the SharePoint space will continue to enter with full or cosmetic integrations. Especially in the area of 2012’s nebulous term “Big Data” and the lingering term “Social.” Companies like Pingar, Yammer, Autonomy ( now HP ), and more.
ISHAI SAGI, SharePoint Architect and director of Extelligent Design, clicked on his keyboard from the capital city of Australia (pop quiz: What is it?-- and do not Google\Bing it!) to tell us what he expects from 2012. In four words: “More SharePoint 2010 projects. Internet sites, intranet sites, extranet sites and maybe some Office365 sites - although until we get our own data centers down under, that may be challenging.
DUX RAYMOND SY
“Thanks to SharePoint, Three Ways Enterprises Will Do More With Less in 2012”
It’s exciting to see the continued growth and enterprise adoption of SharePoint in 2011. Users are maturing and realizing that SharePoint is more than just a glorified network share. More importantly, enterprises are keen on maximizing their SharePoint investment by doing more with it. Here are three solid ways to achieve this:
1. Leverage out of the box MS Office integration
By now everyone is well aware that the primary user interaction with SharePoint is via the web browser. What’s interesting is not everyone knows that SharePoint has deep MS Office integration – which essentially means that they can work with SharePoint from within MS Office tools. This is a great value proposition for users whose primary tool of choice may not be the web browser – it may be Outlook for some, Excel for Sally in Accounting and perhaps MS Project for your project managers. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if:
- Documents in a document library were made visible in Outlook?
- Expense information in a SharePoint list were synchronized with an Excel spreadsheet?
- Project team members could provide task updates in SharePoint while the project manager synchronizes the information from MS Project?
2. Embrace enterprise consumerization of IT
With the consumerization of IT, a wide variety of computing devices, tools, platforms has proliferated the enterprise. The good news is that SharePoint supports most of the tools people rely on to get their job done. Apart from the PC environment, SharePoint can work with various browsers, OSs, and devices. Here are some possibilities:
- Maximizing SharePoint on a Mac, iPad, iPhone
- SharePoint App for BlackbBerry, iOS, and Android
- Mac Office 2011 and SharePoint
3. Enable business process automation
The great promise of SharePoint is to empower the business and allow it to help itself without relying on IT. A key breakthrough for every user is when they can automate business processes.
With SharePoint’s built in workflow capabilities, users can automate existing manual (mostly email-based) business processes and make it more effective. Here are some examples:
- Building a change control system
- Travel request
- Expense reimbursement
RICK TAYLOR is a SharePoint architect and works for a top Microsoft NSI partner, PERFICIENT. He has spent the last 10 years working specifically with SharePoint and other infrastructure products. He has lived in the Phoenix, Arizona area for 15 years, is a musician as well as music enthusiast, and is a Windows Phone 7 advocate. He loves chess and participates twice a year as a triathlete in the Clydesdale class. He has several blogs (which are in dire need of updating) and he can be reached at: [email protected] and on Twitter @SLKRCK. His blogs include http://blogs.technet.com/ritaylor; http://blogs.perficient.com; http://slickrickistheman.wordpress.com.
“I predict that Skype will finally be released for Windows Phone 7 and will not work properly at first but will require a “re-release.” I predict a MAJOR change in Microsoft leadership – (i.e. a CxO will be stepping down/fired and another will replace him/her). I predict that Microsoft will purchase a vendor and shake up the VAR space.”
I am lucky enough to work with JEREMY THAKE every day at AvePoint. He’s one of the founders of Nothing But SharePoint, is a great Twitter “follow” @JThake, and is known for pushing the envelope and poking the bear. Now that he’s an honorary American, he had the following predictions for 2012:
“In 2012, we will see Enterprise customers start to move more workloads – such as collaboration site collections – up into the cloud, whether it be private clouds in data centers, Microsoft Office 365, or third-party offerings from Rackspace and Fpweb.net. The small business market, with less than 50 users, has dominated the initial ramp-up to Office 365 since its launch in June 2011.
“As additional functionality gets introduced into Office 365 for closer feature parity with on-premise SharePoint 2010, it will be feasible to move more workloads. The remaining gaps between on-premise and online will be mitigated by additional third-party vendor hybrid solutions.”
ELAINE VAN BERGEN (@laneyvb) has had a busy 2010 maintaining her MVP status and also becoming a SharePoint 2010 MCM while working at OBS and presenting at a bunch of conferences.
She took time out from lazing around in the Aussie summer sun to write this prediction: “I believe in 2012 we will see more SharePoint developers and architects finally start implementing better architecture for their solutions.
“While anyone always could design and write well put together SharePoint solutions, in most cases there was nothing to force lazy people to really have to. Most customers don’t ask to see the code so won’t immediately know the difference between hundreds of lines of business, display, and data access logic all jammed together into a confusing mess until they start to wonder why it costs so much each time they want a small change done.
“Now that we are seeing more adoption of Office 365 and customers with highly locked down sandboxed environments and/or implementing proper governance, things are rapidly changing. People are more often hitting situations where they have no other choice but to split the code up into layers and in many cases move the heavy logic off the SharePoint server and call services instead. Hopefully this will mean more people start to think about good architecture for SharePoint solutions up front, just like they would if it was a regular custom developed application that was being designed !”
SEAN WALLBRIDGE had a triumphant, if not exhausting 2011 and is about to enjoy some much-needed rest hanging with Mickey and Friends in Florida to start off 2012. During the past year, itgroove has grown significantly, and SharePoint has been there to drive and provide the framework the business needs to work effectively.
When not drinking from the SharePoint fire hose, Sean spends time hanging and travelling with his wife and two brilliant kids, performing with SuperSauce or punching rants into his BrainLitter blog. He’ll occasionally type out something incomprehensible @itgroove as well.
Oh and Sean is turning 40 this year ... The (used) Range Rover (that gets six miles to the gallon) is already in the driveway so the midlife crisis appears right on schedule. Sean’s predictions were as follows:
“Predictions, eh? Branding will be big. Like before, when a new product comes out and looks different, everyone is into it right away. 2010’s default branding was “good enough” or “better than 2007” and a lot of our customers made very minor customizations such as just modifying the theme file when they first set out with 2010.
“But now, 18 months later, customers are keen to splash on a little sex appeal and requests for facelifts have started to pour in -- certainly not unexpected and good news that lots of Jquery techniques and examples are now rampant across the Interweb to provide lots of inspiration.
“Search scrutiny will start. Now we have the sexy search page input, solid results from the refinement panel, but I suspect we’ll see things like Best Bets actually get used more and become more of a recurring task for even the most casual SharePoint content owner/administrator. Certainly Ontolica offers some really interesting things in this space.
“I also expect we’ll see some sort of ‘app store’ for SharePoint solutions. It should come from Microsoft, but if it doesn’t, someone will step up and attempt to make it happen.
“The cloud is pretty obvious, so I’m not going to even comment on that one – but plenty of sheep will wander into those pastures or at least use the cloud for an on-premises and extranet hybrid. There is a great value there, but us Canadians aren’t so keen on leaving our data on foreign soil, so the Canuck pickup will certainly be less significant.
“While not a prediction, I have a hope. For world peace of course. But if I can’t get that, I’ll downgrade that wish to having companies recognize that SharePoint users require training. SharePoint is as important and fundamental as using Office (and as time marches on, more so). Train the poor bastards.”
ANDREW WOODWARD, SharePoint MVP and founder of 21apps, took time out over the Christmas break, reflected on the changes he made in 2011 and looked forward to what 2012 will bring. Whilst everyone loves to see new technology, he suggests that 2012 will be a year where people focus on getting value from their SharePoint investments.
“Companies will start to see signs of entrepreneurial behaviour from within the business and a desire to change. The financial meltdown around the world has a flip side: It allows people to challenge the status quo, to ask the questions about how things are done, and with the capabilities SharePoint provides, we will see people explore these ideas. 2012 will be the year that people start to change the way they work!”
I found SHANE YOUNG asleep under his desk at SharePoint911 to get his 2012 predication. Apparently instead of writing on his blog or tweeting @ShanesCows, he was working on his creative art projects. Something about blue construction paper and white cotton balls.
“My crystal ball is very cloudy but I don’t think it is because the ball is broken. I am pretty sure it is because in 2012 we will continue to see a steady march of SharePoint to the cloud.
“While there are some of us who think it is safe to ignore the trend, that is quickly becoming a bad play. The cloud still isn’t ready to take over the world, but going hybrid might be a great idea.
“No, not those cars that make no noise when on battery power but instead a mixed SharePoint deployment where the intranet is on an internal farm and the extranet/internet farm is in the cloud. Look for this to become the new normal in 2012.”
Last but not least—it’s just that his last name starts with “Z”—there’s TOBIAS ZIMMERGREN. Tobias—an MVP from Sweden—is the CEO of TOZIT AB and author of the highly popular SharePoint development blog, www.zimmergren.net. With many years in the IT industry, he has been focusing on SharePoint and related technologies for the past many years. He is a speaker at many conferences and events, as well as the cofounder and organizer of the Sweden SharePoint User Group.
If you attend any of the major SharePoint events around the globe, try to spot the guy wearing the most awesome pants you can find or who is sharply dressed in a suit. Most likely you’ve found Tobias. Since he’s pretty awesome and kind, don’t be afraid to go and say Hi – he would appreciate that. Yes, he paid me to write that.
Tobias predicts: “With the announcements at the SharePoint Conference this year about the next SharePoint Conference taking place in Las Vegas already next year, it’s pretty obvious that something major will be announced. Looking at the history of SharePoint releases, it’s not unlikely that Microsoft will announce the next version of SharePoint at the conference in Las Vegas. Speaking in general terms of the SharePoint market, I think we’re looking at a very exciting and busy 2012. Just remember to be awesome!”