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!