SharePoint Predictions 2013

See what's coming for SharePoint in 2013--experts in the SharePoint community make their annual predictions.

Ashley Fontanetta

January 2, 2013

19 Min Read
SharePoint Predictions 2013

Greetings from London, where I’m spending New Year’s with friends and tackling my insane backlog from 2012. One of the best parts of my job is the chance to work closely with some of the phenomenal people that lead our SharePoint community. And once a year, I get to ask these folks to share their predictions for the coming year.

Where is SharePoint going in 2013? Look into the crystal ball, my friends

So, without further ado, I’d like to open the floor to my friends and colleagues to share their thoughts, their plans, and their guidance on SharePoint for 2013. At the end of the predictions, I’ll list their Twitter handles so you can follow them throughout the new year!


Rob Bogue

I caught up with ROB BOGUE while he hobbled along with his big and tall cane, or was that a Shepherd’s Crook? He was busy muttering something about the next version of the Shepherd’s Guide, but I did get him to share this insight: “It looks like rain, er, I mean cloud. Small and Medium businesses will be driven to Office 365 and will pick-up SharePoint as a part of the deal.

"A whole new set of innovators will be brought into the fold and as a result, we’ll see an even greater level of activity in the community as every small business owner starts to see the value of SharePoint. On the corporate end, folks will continue to struggle with how to drive more value out of their investments – and how to get better productivity out of their employees.”


Christian Buckley

I found CHRISTIAN BUCKLEY taking a much needed break from the road, spending time in Seattle with his wife and four kids, getting ready for a demanding January travel schedule. Christian is a SharePoint MVP, author and international speaker, and evangelist for SharePoint ISV Axceler. He shares his thoughts on 2013: “My thoughts on the upcoming year are much the same as last year, with a focus on productivity and social across the enterprise. As SharePoint matures, more and more organizations are focusing less on infrastructure concerns and more on how they can get better productivity out of the platform.

"The global economy continues to be a major concern, so getting more out of what you’ve already invested will be key. Social is one of the leading methods for improving productivity, but companies are struggling with how these tools can measurably impact their business in a positive way. That’s where I see many of the wins in 2013 – in showcasing how social can help organizations improve productivity in a secure, repeatable, and supportable way.”


Andrew Connell

I shared sushi and beers with ANDREW CONNELL recently in Orlando after he presented a full-day pre-conference workshop at the recent SharePoint Live! 360 conference. He was quite relieved for this to be his last trip of the year after racking up quite a few frequent flier miles in 2012. I asked Andrew what his take was on the recent SharePoint 2013 release and what he thought was in store for 2013 (the year, not the product).

“Next year should be quite an important year for Microsoft with respect to SharePoint 2013. This recent release is primarily focused around the cloud offering, specifically Office 365. It is nice to see Microsoft finally get a good hosted offering for SharePoint which should bode well for them with SMB, an area where they have not had much success with SharePoint due to its high upfront and ongoing costs.

"I’d expect to see a good number of companies to jump on board Office 365 once it gets updated to 2013 in early Q1. What I'm curious to see is how quickly, if at all, the enterprises will adopt the latest version. I’ve had many people ask 'What is in it for me' if they are an on-premises customer. I keep saying 'Unless you do search, WCM or ECM, there isn’t a compelling reason.'”

“While not a prediction, I’m eager to see what the plans are around social, specifically the Yammer and SharePoint 2013 integration in the cloud. So far the social story in SharePoint, including SharePoint 2013, and what they showed at the SharePoint Conference in November has been very disappointing. More customers are asking 'How can we turn off the social features in SharePoint?' than are those who are asking how to use them and that doesn't bode well.”


Geoff Evelyn

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 still falling off horses at speed, he publishes many free articles and tools, all available from his website at SharePoint Geoff and at Codeplex. Geoff is active member of the Editorial board for the Software Development Journal managed by IAP, as well as a contributor to TechNet and MSDN newsletters.

Somehow, by utilizing the skills of a Tardis borrowed from Dr Who and "bending Time," he writes loads of SharePoint articles and authored Managing and Implementing SharePoint 2010 Projects (Microsoft Press) and co-authored MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft Word Expert, Excel Expert, Access, and SharePoint (Microsoft Press), and will have two more published by Microsoft Press by May 2013 – Microsoft SharePoint 2013: Planning for Adoption and Governance and co-author on MOS 2013 Study Guide for Microsoft Word Expert, Excel Expert, Access, and SharePoint.

Geoffs’ Prediction: “Gosh! Well, it's been another fantastic year for me working with SharePoint with new and existing SharePoint implementations, all of whom are more keen than ever before to structure proper service delivery and making them key to their SharePoint solution delivery.

"I have seen a marked increase on organizations focusing on communication and training as key drivers to SharePoint implementation success. I've noted a huge surge of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and mobile device use; this 'consumerization' has impacted IT in amazing ways, affected people perception, collaboration and business needs and will definitely continue to do so.

"For the next year? Going to be exciting! As well as BYOD, with the emergence of Office 2013, of which SharePoint is now definitely a part, there will be a lot that particularly SharePoint Online will continue to affect and change the way organizations want to solve information challenges.

"There will be even more impacts to technical and business support, administration and security. Am predicting that Support and Service will be high on the agenda, as organizations attempt to define and create SharePoint Support, and build service operation models which are cost effective and at the same time tailored.

"The march in change initiatives from "geek engineering" SharePoint to "value engineering" will continue and evolve, particularly relevant to businesses understanding whether to adopt SharePoint Online, or SharePoint On-Premise - for example, this year has already seen more developers adding analysis skills to their skill-sets than ever.

"Finally, with the emergence of improved Business Intelligence features in 2013, and more collaborative features in Office 2013 in general, this will lead to a greater move to providing improved information worker productivity; that will inevitably increase their personal requirements to become more skilled in using SharePoint through the M.O.S certification. In short, 2013 is going to be awesome!”


Brian Farnhill

BRIAN FARNHILL is a SharePoint MVP based out of Canberra, Australia – he runs a number of SharePoint Saturday events across the country there and also runs the Canberra SharePoint User Group. Brian’s predictions for SharePoint in 2013 are all about the cloud and where the developers are going to fit in to the new ways of creating apps and solutions for SharePoint.

He says that he believes the app marketplace is going to open up a lot of new opportunities (or “app-ortunities” haha!) to create new channels for pushing out customizations and solutions, and developers for SharePoint will start extending in to other technologies and platforms to deliver apps both on premise and in the cloud. So his prediction is that we are going to see some big and exciting things come from developers everywhere through the app store!


Sue Hanley

SUE HANLEY is an independent consultant and co-author of the upcoming book Essential SharePoint 2013: Practical Guidance for Meaningful Business Results. She took a few minutes away from trying to wrap up end-of-year deliverables to suggest:

“2013 is going to be the year when all of our backpacks (including Dan Holme’s) are going to get lighter due to powerful Ultrabooks and the Surface Pro tablet. With a fully functional cloud-based SharePoint 2013, it will be less necessary to carry heavy PCs running SharePoint VMs all the time. Some of the time, sure, but not every time you leave the office. I, for one, am looking forward to less back pain in 2013!”

“2013 is also going to be a year in which “gamification” becomes a word in everyone’s vocabulary. Some will use the word with no clue of what they are talking about and others will be more thoughtful about how the fascinating aspect of games can provide real value in the workplace.

"I’m going to spend some of my holiday vacation reading a book called For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business, co-authored by two professors from Wharton and NYU Law. Gamification approaches are built-in to the Community features of SharePoint 2013 so I think learning these concepts – and when and where they can add value – are critically important for SharePoint business analysts like me.”

For those of you who don't know Sue, she's a rock star [she'll hate me for saying that!] on the "business" side of SharePoint, as well as being technical. Be sure to check out her site and blog.


Jason Himmelstein

In a recent conversation with JASON HIMMELSTEIN, Sentri’s SharePoint Practice Director and author of the O’Reilly book Developing Business Intelligence Apps for SharePoint, the fanatical SharePoint Longhorn emphatically stated that there would be two main drivers to push companies of all sizes to move to SharePoint 2013 faster than any prior platform shift: Social (the obvious answer) and Business Intelligence (the less obvious answer).

He went on to rave about how the BI features of SharePoint 2013 combined with the newly released SQL Server 2012 SP1 enhancements are an unparalleled feature set in the market space. He said that since it appears that the Mayans were incorrect in predicting the end of the world, his predictions may end up being just a bunch of bollocks too; however, he thinks his predictions have a higher likelihood of being accurate. Either way, I expect that we will revisit the conversation several times during the course of the year at various conferences.


TJ Jiang

I was able to catch up with Dr. TIANYI (TJ) JIANG, co-founder and co-CEO of AvePoint during a quick breather on his end-of-year visits with AvePoint customers and partners in London, Brussels, Paris, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Osaka, to get his take on what he expects for 2013.

“As SharePoint continues to evolve to become the very fabric of information worker workloads and an integral part of Microsoft’s unified communication technology stack, every enterprise faces the same challenge balancing the need for information transparency and collaboration with data security and governance.

"Focusing on enabling collaboration with confidence – defined by the four pillars of infrastructure management/optimization, governance, compliance, and also Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) device management – is key to resolving the confusion and chaos of today’s disruptive technology trends in enterprise social, cloud, big data access, end point device access, and management.”


Chris McNulty

It was a busy year for CHRIS MCNULTY at Quest, now part of Dell. As he looks forward to 2013, Chris predicts it will be the year we finally see SharePoint social entrenched in the enterprise. Chris told me:

"Back in 2007, when I met with different enterprises faced with SharePoint My Sites, the questions tended to sound like 'I heard SharePoint has social functions – how can I hide them so no one ever uses them.' In my role at Dell Software, speaking at user groups and conferences, I’ve learned that usage of SharePoint social still lags behind other core functions – only about 20-30 percent of enterprises make much headway, according to our surveys.

"SharePoint’s been “social” for years. But it’s taken a special mix of culture, use cases, willingness, and third-party tools to make it truly compelling for the enterprise. But I think in 2013, Microsoft has gotten social right. The combination of newsfeeds, community sites, tags and targets, mixed with preexisting personal sites, profiles and microblogs is all “in the box.” Organizations can finally craft a compelling social collaboration experience for their users without custom code or third-party tools.

"This puts social “in reach” for many more enterprises. So I’m expecting to see at least 40-50 percent of organizations that use SharePoint 2013 make social a centerpiece of their deployment. And that number will only rise as Microsoft adds the ability to use Yammer to extend social collaboration beyond the enterprise through the cloud. I’ve been adding a lot to my new book on SharePoint 2013 (coming in Q1 2013!) to help enterprises understand the business and technical roadmap for social. Can’t wait!"

I can't wait for your new book, either, Chris! Best of luck!


Asif Rehmani

I always seem to bump into ASIF REHMANI at SharePoint conferences around the world. Asif is a SharePoint MVP and founder of, which is one of the most useful tools I've seen to drive end-user adoption and reduce support costs through on-demand, in-context training based on excellent video snippets.

This year, he has been very busy with lots of new initiatives such as bringing the flagship product VisualSP to market, releasing the first SharePoint 2013 book, and completely revamping the SharePoint-Videos site to serve customers even better going forward. It was great seeing him again the other day as we started talking about what he thinks will be the big story in 2013 for SharePoint.

Asif said that he had been most intrigued by the future of Apps in SharePoint. He said that looking at the big picture, he understands the current scope of how Apps behave in SharePoint is limited and that there is no doubt that people will still continue to create the 'old-fashioned' SharePoint solutions. However, the concept of having just about anyone develop an App for SharePoint is an extremely compelling one and cannot be ignored as the market moves towards SharePoint 2013.

Asif made a good point saying that we often don't realize it, but the whole App model in the mainstream market is not truly that old. It's only been five years since Apple introduced the first iPhone and look at how far we have come since then. Just as the mobile computing market has been revolutionized as the App marketplaces have started maturing, there is a big potential for SharePoint to also make unexpected, but amazing shifts in the industry.

For SharePoint to truly grow "out-of-the-box," Microsoft will have to embrace the untapped potential of talented folks around the world (developers, designers, innovators) who have not yet been interested enough in SharePoint yet. As more and more creative people start thinking and implementing innovative ways to utilize this awesome platform, we will finally start seeing the true potential of it being realized. Asif thinks that this momentum will start taking shape in 2013 and will continue to grow for many more years to come.


Chris Riley

CHRIS RILEY (VP of Marketing at Pingar, which I feel is one of the "Companies to Watch" in 2013!) still feels adoption is going to be the biggest challenge for SharePoint in 2013 and reports that most of the challenges in deploying SharePoint are “people problems.” He also has a theory that the new UI in 2013 is going to be so friendly that the new “Share” button might be the catalyst for a brand new era of SharePoint Sprawl.


Jeremy Thake

JEREMY THAKE is Enterprise Architect at AvePoint, one of the leads at Nothing But SharePoint, and just restarted his own blog. One of the highlights of 2012 for me was the chance to work with Jeremy on a number of projects, both during and subsequent to my tenure at AvePoint. About 2013, Jeremy polishes his crystal ball and predicts:

“2013 will bring “social,” “big data,” “cloud,” and “BYOD” into the marketing limelight to the point of us all being sick of it by Q2! But, in the real world the reality in SharePoint will be a lot of planning around upgrades to SharePoint 2013 private clouds, some dabbling in trialing vanilla workloads in SharePoint Online public cloud in hybrid fashion, and a huge cat fight between Yammer Social and SharePoint Social.”


Sean Wallbridge

SEAN WALLBRIDGE, a SharePoint MVP in Victoria, BC, had a busy year (doesn't every SharePoint guy/gal say that though?). At itgroove, they've been building a strong team of SharePoint Goto Guys, dipping their toes in apps, and waiting for the NHL to get back to playing hockey.

Sean muses thoughtfully, holding a double neat glass of Macallans ... "Predictions, eh? Well, I had a look at last year and see I figured search, branding and the cloud would be big ... and some sort of app store would arrive. With the arrival of SharePoint 2013 - whoa, look at that! Killer search improvements that will drive new adoption, branding that is much more fluid and reinvented (and customizations controlled/tempered ala Mr. Teper's instructions from on high) and an app store that holds a lot of promise.

"For this year, I'm going with more of the same, and more moving to the cloud (Office 365 is a killer value for some, definitely hard to argue against). Again, up here in the great white north, adoption will remain primarily with small businesses but questions will continue to come from government as to why/why not?

"Adoption of SharePoint will continue to increase as ease of use and platform compatibility continues to improve. But there will no doubt be lots of grumbling from the established and loyal base of Power Users who have had some of their toys taken away ... it will be interesting to see what happens in this space. Five stages of grief ending finally with acceptance? New hacks and tricks? Power tools from third-party vendors to replace functionality lost in SharePoint Designer, etc? Who knows...

"And what about InfoPath? Do we stop using it because Microsoft seems to have neglected it? HTML5 ... are we all mad??? Clearly mobility will also be a big thing. But will we continue to use apps primarily to connect to SharePoint list data or will we spend more time tuning SharePoint web pages for mobile delivery?

"Finally, I predict computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons... and that Microsoft will rename Metro, wait I mean the Windows 8 UI, nope I mean the Modern UI, to ."


Tobias Zimmergren

Looking to Scandinavia, where TOBIAS ZIMMERGREN, Wictor Wilen, and Goran Husman constantly tolerate my massacring of the Swedish language with a smile, I caught up with my main man, Tobias Zimmergren--a five-time Microsoft MVP from Sweden with the highly popular and appreciated SharePoint blog. Tobias is the founder of SharePoint Discussions, founder of the Swedish consultancy TOZIT AB, and co-founder and organizer of the Sweden SharePoint User Group. He’s hanging out on Twitter where you are free to harass him with any questions and comments.

So what’s Tobias’s predictions for 2013 and forth? Well, here’s what he said:

“I guess everyone knows about SharePoint 2013 by now and all the cool new hot smoking awesome stuff happening in there. We’ve seen a lot of focus on the cloud and online services, not to mention the new App Model in SharePoint 2013. I do believe that Apps can be a great new way for vendors to get their products shipped and published, and they may grow their market in new ways.

"For me, however, and probably most of my clients, we’ll continue to develop Farm Solutions for some time before there’s even a possibility to think cloud or sandbox – but that doesn’t mean we will skip Apps – they’ll just not be the primary thing we develop for clients on the hour. Simply put it just means we can’t abandon critical business solutions and many thousands of hours put into developing solid business platforms in favor of the App- and online frameworks.

"I’ve already migrated a few SharePoint 2010 installations and projects to SharePoint 2013 and so far all of our Farm Solutions are working out just fine – with some branding and UI/UX tweaks here and there. It’s going to be an exciting year and there’s going to be a lot of possibilities and adventures down the SharePoint road from here on!”



Follow them with the Twitter handles below!


Rob Bogue


Christian Buckley


Andrew Connell


Geoff Evelyn


Brian Farnhill


Sue Hanley


Jason Himmelstein


TJ Jiang


Chris McNulty


Asif Rehmani


Chris Riley


Jeremy Thake


Sean Wallbridge


Tobias Zimmergren


And, yours truly, Dan Holme, @danholme,

Thanks again, to all my friends and colleagues, for sharing your predictions with us all! And for those of you who would like to contribute to the next annual PREDICTIONS issue, don’t hesitate to email me now and I’ll include you!

See more SharePoint predictions:

SharePoint Predictions 2012: SharePoint's Immediate Future

SharePoint in 2011: MVP Predictions

SharePoint in 2010: SharePoint MVPs Offer 2010 Predictions

MVP Predictions for 2009

About the Author(s)

Ashley Fontanetta

Ashley Fontanetta is vice president, philanthropic services at Whittier Trust in South Pasadena, Calif.

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