3. April 2011 19:18
Microsoft’s long term strategy for SharePoint can be hard to predict, or even follow, given the changes in functionality and transition to the cloud. When Microsoft first announced SharePoint 10 years ago, its set of underlying services were somewhat lacking in integration and alignment. Yet Steve Ballmer saw SharePoint as the platform for the future of the Office product line, and a potential long term replacement for Windows.
Now, SharePoint adds more than 20K users a day, and has spawned an entire ecosystem of add-ons, tools, partners, solution providers, and consultants. SharePoint 2010 provides developers with a real SDLC environment, and users with a rewritten interface and many usability enhancements. The fact that developers can host their coding on Windows 7 and Vista (x64 only) is a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to the future of the SharePoint platform.
Where will SharePoint go in the future? It is clear that communication and collaboration will be central to the success of teams and businesses, and SharePoint is laser focused on optimizing that experience. Recent surveys have shown that primary SharePoint initiatives within organizations are to increase departmental penetration and define a strategy; this indicates that SharePoint remains in the early adoption phase of its evolution.
As IT departments recognize the over-reaching complexity of their systems they will likely commit to a 1) reorganization 2) deprecation 3) innovation plan. Leaders responsible for this type of re-architecture can consider SharePoint as a Swiss army knife, and use it to fix a lot of the problems they will encounter along the way.