An End Run Around IT? Nope, Not Us …

January 29, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Information Work, Microsoft SharePoint | 2 Comments

In a previous posting (“Solution for Broken IT: Fix It“) I decried a trend I’ve noticed towards businesses taking collaboration and content needs into their own hands (via end user computing, consultants, or SaaS) rather than attempting to fix the relationship with IT.  One example I noted was with SharePoint, where I said “Microsoft is increasingly marketing SharePoint to the business with as the DIY option of choice.”

Well, Microsoft denies any formal program to market SharePoint directly to the business (doing an end run around IT).  But business folks are indeed getting pelted with SharePoint messaging from somewhere.  Where is it?  Entrepreneurial local technical salespeople?  Active user’s groups?   Self-appointed internal SharePoint evangelists?  I’m not sure, but I wish I had the time to put on a disguise (a fake moustache and trench coat would do), hang out in a corporate business unit for a while complaining about how I wish I had a better way to collaborate than shared drives, and then catch whoever pops out of the woodwork …

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  1. You make some great points (as ever!) But I could take another spin on them (for the sake of dialog!)

    1. Is it really up to the business to attempt to fix the IT relationship? Yes, I’ve said many times that “businesses get the IT they deserve”, but ultimately I think IT must take the lead in transforming itself and thereby its relationship with the business.

    2. Whether or not Microsoft has any formal program (I suspect they do!), collaboration is busting forth everywhere, and, like it or not, for large organizations, SharePoint is going to be an underlying platform for collaboration solutions.

    3. Much of SharePoint’s bum rap comes from earlier versions (that were highly inadequate) and lousy implementations (there go the less than competent IT organizations again! Current releases, shored up by a wealth of inexpensive add-on’s make SharePoint a reasonable collaboration platform.

  2. Rather than “catching” the sneaks who are trying to make the end-run, why not off to help them understand what IT is doing to support collaboration already. Or suggest that you work together to resolve the issue.

    Is there also some “make it work like ____” going on here as well? Five years ago the blank was filled in with “Google” because internal search then (and now?) never worked as well as people were coming to expect from external systems. There are still expectations in the business world that the technology they are using could be better / faster / cheaper. Are those the right expectations?


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