Considerable Change in Emphasis as SharePoint Online Continues
By Richard Harbridge, CTO, 2toLead
The SharePoint market has been evolving over many years. Historically it has been a huge area of continued growth in both demands (jobs) as well as in terms of organizational impact (# of projects and enterprise customers). Some interesting stats to note if we look at popularity trend data.
First let’s examine the impact of SharePoint as each new version or release comes to the market. With the release of SharePoint 2016 earlier this year this trend of continued investment and interest from organizations, IT professionals and business users will continue.
Notice the considerable change in emphasis as SharePoint Online continues to grow in importance as a part of Office 365 (a Software as a Service offering of SharePoint) versus its server counterpart.
This is also relevant as SharePoint has become more and more of an underpinning technology for many other key capabilities within Office 365. From OneDrive for Business to the Office 365 Video Portal, SharePoint continues to be a strategic platform that powers many Office 365 experiences today and will power entirely new experiences in the coming months and years.
The Steady Growth of SharePoint
From a market perspective we know SharePoint has a considerable level of investment across organizations. With over 80 percent of Fortune 500 organizations use Office 365 today and over 200,000 organizations actively leveraging SharePoint today we know it is here to stay. Investment is a little bit different than adoption though.
We see adoption continuing to improve over time. While adoption often starts with users actively using SharePoint for file sharing, file collaboration, and file storage, it continues to evolve with users embracing more capabilities in SharePoint like custom lists, PowerApps, Flow/Workflow, news, search and much more.
There are a few reasons for this continued improvement. First a growing number of organizations now have a modern version of SharePoint thanks to the always up to date version of SharePoint customers get with Office 365 and SharePoint Online (over 40 percent of all SharePoint licenses today are SharePoint Online licenses). This means that there are less technical gaps or challenges restricting or delaying the use of SharePoint across the organization. Due to it being available from anywhere, at anytime and on any device (thanks to being a modern SaaS offering) we also see much faster adoption rates than traditional server based implementations. For proof of this the monthly active use rate (the number of users actively using SharePoint Online) has gone up by over 400 percet since last year.
Secondly, SharePoint is being integrated naturally into other experiences from Outlook with it’s Groups integration and Microsoft Teams integration to how OneDrive for Business is becoming more of a ‘my files and my work’ digital hub providing not just recent documents, but the ability to discover and work directly with other documents, groups and SharePoint content overtime.
From OneDrive for Business to the Office 365 Video Portal, SharePoint continues to be a strategic platform that powers many Office 365 experiences today
Three Main Challenges
There are three main challenges we would identify.
• We aren’t sure where SharePoint fits with other enterprise technology investments and Microsoft’s roadmap.
• We don’t know what we should/can do with SharePoint.
• We need to help our users understand, adopt and embrace SharePoint.
The good news is that we help organizations will all three of the above challenges. For #1—www.WhenToUseWhat.com is a 60+ page whitepaper on understanding where and when to use SharePoint or other Microsoft technology. For #2–www.Office365Intranets.com has a 70+ page whitepaper on everything an organization should know about building effective Intranets (one of the top workloads for SharePoint) in a modern way leveraging Office 365 and Microsoft’s new investments. For #3–We even shared significant guidance (70+ pages) and samples at www.Office365Campaigns.com around how to best approach adoption of SharePoint in the modern era.
Benefit from Investments in SharePoint
Understanding organizational needs is important. This is basic business analysis and investment realization (ROI) stuff. What we find is that many organizations need help understanding how OTHER organizations are getting benefit from investments in SharePoint. To support that we actually have another 70+ page whitepaper at Office365Metrics.com that outlines common business impacts, and benefits SharePoint and other key Microsoft technology (in Office 365) provides. So our biggest highlight here is to start with industry baselines and use that to help you focus your efforts on tracking, measuring and prioritizing needs. (As it’s not really an issue of–does this help meet business needs–it’s an issue of what investment or change should we make to have the best impact.)
Awareness of Important Trends
It will be harder than ever to stay in the know, up to date, and aware of all the important trends that effect SharePoint. From improvements and innovations in Azure and Office 365 that impact it, or changes in the SharePoint vendor ecosystem. Our advice is to find a trusted advisor to help you filter, make sense of, and understand the accelerating change we are seeing across the industry. You can’t do it alone.
Key Points about SharePoint Marketplace
Hundreds; for now here are some interesting stats on the SharePoint marketplace you might find interesting.
• There are over 3,000 books about SharePoint on Amazon.
• There are almost (or over) 300,000 videos on YouTube for SharePoint.
• 9 out of 10 of the best Intranets in 2016 (Nielsen Norman Award Winners) were built on SharePoint (and many on Office 365).
• There are over tens of thousands of jobs available in just North America today for SharePoint skilled experts.
• In 2012 SharePoint was a business worth well over 2 billion dollars annually to Microsoft (this number has increased since).
• Out of 190+ million paid seats for SharePoint well over 60 percent of new licenses are online.
• SharePoint has a solutions ecosystem that generates well over 10 billion (May 2016).
Requiring a Specialized Skill
The last point that is important here is that SharePoint still requires a specialized skillset today to unlock its full potential. Many organizations still need to consult experienced partners, consultants and experts to help them maximize the value SharePoint can provide. SharePoint skills are as relevant today as ERP skills in IT. So consider the budget impact and hire experts like our team, or at least get experienced external opinions and support to ensure what you are doing is future proofed and strategically sound. What follows is one last chart outlining the job trends for ERP and SharePoint jobs (as a percent of all jobs online).