The End Run and User Empowerment

Mike Gilronan
2 min readDec 13, 2020


This article was originally posted on April 24, 2008.

This is one of those themes that keeps cropping up:

  • the KM forum at Bentley College
  • a paper written by the Yankee Group: “Zen and the Art of Rogue Employee Management,” and
  • this article in InformationWeek magazine about the “IT End Run.”

When I try to boil it down in my own head, these data points together lead me to the following advice for CIOs:

Given the rise of consumer technologies in the enterprise, CIOs MUST find ways to provide business users with new capabilities they demand in a way that is consistent with good governance, or else users will find ways to get them on their own outside of the “good governance” umbrella.

I see SharePoint as both an appealing and a dangerous option for tackling this problem. It is advertised as a set of tools and application platform for solving many business problems (business intelligence, collaboration, search, etc.), under the umbrella of a centrally managed access and security model that works with the rest of a (Microsoft-centric) enterprise’s tools.

I frequently encounter IT and executive managers excited by this prospect, and one of my favorite bloggers has written a very insightful series of articles about why “soft” thinking on this point puts many SharePoint projects in peril. I encourage you to read all four parts of the series — Paul is quite a prolific writer. Ignore this advice at your peril, and bear in mind this data point from the Yankee Group study:

86% of workers surveyed in this study used an unsupported tool at work to boost their productivity.

Proceed with caution, CIOs, but proceed you must!

Originally published at



Mike Gilronan

Project management, financial management, and knowledge management. Microsoft 365 aficionado. Opinions and Philly attytood are my own.