As I wrote in the public beta of "Talking about SharePoint in the Cloud," today I am supposed to be writing my SharePoint List for the November issue of SharePointPro Connections magazine. It's going to be about SharePoint in the cloud. I thought I'd putter around first and play with the shiny bits of advice and opinion I've gathered before hammering everything into a polished Box O’ Content.
Shiny bit #4: Who is looking at hosted SharePoint
Matthew Roberts of EMC: “The hosted strategy is clearly targeted to small and medium sized businesses. They just don’t have the budget to deploy and manage SharePoint because they might need a developer skill set, an admin skill set—plus there are issues of upkeep, archiving, replication.”
“What we are seeing is large companies are exploring this space—we’ve helped at least a dozen move. Larger enterprise customers aren’t outsourcing everything to the cloud. With Exchange, anyone tied to finance, the executive team, they’ll employ an on-premises Exchange. With SharePoint, larger enterprises are looking to the cloud and putting commodity teams to SharePoint Online, but the apps and data associated with them tend to be hosted on-premises.”
Alan Sugano, president of ADS Consulting Group, a networking, custom programming, and development firm: “Most of our sites are internally hosted. However, a hosted site makes the most sense when a majority of users that access the SharePoint site are geographically spread out all over the place, or for companies that don't have the resources to internally host the site. For most of our SharePoint implementations, the users are concentrated in one location.”
Shiny bit #5: Considerations
Kevin Laahs, HP strategist and author of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 All-in-One For Dummies: “There are a few reasons why you might not want to use a "cloud" - some technical (like BPOS does not allow you to easily add 3rd party applications to your SharePoint environment) but most around governance, security, compliance etc. You are basically handing over your service to someone else - are you sure they will take as good care of your service as you would yourself?”
Ethan Wilansky, director in FTI Technology's R&D group, creator of custom SharePoint solutions: "SharePoint is a beast….The challenges of SharePoint 2007, in regards to its suitability for hosting, have been mostly resolved in SharePoint 2010. Still, in our experience, you need really clear security boundaries. You need dedicated support. A lot of companies don’t realize how mission-critical SharePoint is.”