Thursday, December 02, 2010

Ever Get Push-Back on Implementing SharePoint My Sites?

This is not technically a post that is part of my SharePoint 2010 Social Computing series of blog posts. But, it is relevant to that series.

I've noticed over the past seven years as a full-time SharePoint educator and consultant that I get more push-back on SharePoint My Sites than I ever would have expected. This phenomena happened in 2004 with SharePoint Portal Server 2003, and it continues to happen in 2010 with the latest version.

I'd say that I have been in front of at least 2000 IT and non-IT professionals in the SharePoint classes I have taught over the years. Rarely do I ever have a class where more than 60% of the students have implemented or plan to implement SharePoint My Sites. Almost always at least 4 out of 10 students are either lukewarm, or even sometimes adamantly opposed, to implementing My Sites at their organization.

The main reasons I hear from those who are opposed to My Sites are:

  1. Some professionals (or their managers) don't trust that the rank and file users in the organizations will use the My Site properly
  2. Some professionals (or their colleagues) view the My Site as "just another web page to have to keep up-to-date".  It seems like more work to them than benefit.
  3. Some professionals immediately associate the concept of My Sites as too much like Facebook, which they deem is not appropriate to use at work.
  4. Some professionals see it as "redundant" to Facebook.  Their organizations have long ago approved usage of Facebook in the organization for business purposes.  (Obviously, these folks are the exact opposite of those who give reason #3).
The good news is that most of the time at least 50% of the students in my classes "get it" and are very interested in gaining the many benefits that SharePoint My Sites offer.  But, that still leaves a significant number who continue to push back.

Have any of you experienced this kind of push-back?  Are the reasons similar to the ones I hear?  What do you think it will take before My Sites are universally embraced in all SharePoint Server implementations?

Let me know in the comments below.

P.S.  I just read this news article about Hilton Hotels implementing SharePoint 2010 worldwide to 130,000 employees.  At the very end of the article, the author of the article quotes the Hilton CIO as saying:
"We want employees to use SharePoint MySites and TeamSites [which create a Facebook-like environment] to share information or jointly edit documents with people in their departments"
I am going to stick this quote in my bag of tricks to use in the classroom the next time I hear this kind of push back.