Tuesday, January 20, 2015

No Pain, No Gain

I recently read this blog post on Sharegate's blog:

Move to Office 365:  Did SharePoint Become the Reason?

The very first line of the post says this:

"It's been a long and exhausting road with SharePoint"

It inspired me to leave this comment, which I realized I wanted to make into a blog post.  So, here it is:

For business people, "IT" has been a long and exhausting road for 30 years or more.  And, one of the rarely spoken truths is that one key reason is because it is "hard to create and maintain good systems".

Systems are the combination of people, procedures and technologies.  It is really hard for organizations to combine those three things and come up with something that is really good.

I think it will always be hard to have good systems.  It won't matter what technologies come along, such as Office 365 and the cloud.  Because, to have good systems and get business value out of them, you have to work hard at it.  And, everyone in the world is not willing to work that hard.

This is why some companies are able to achieve competitive advantage from their systems.  They work harder at it than the competition.  Company A may use SharePoint (or Office 365) and be wildly successful with it today because they have been willing to work really hard at it.  Their competitor, Company B, may also use SharePoint (or Office 365), but have little to show for it because they haven't been willing to be disciplined and work hard at it.

Will Office 365/SharePoint Online change this fundamental truth?  I don't think so.

Office 365/SharePoint Online is essentially the same software as SharePoint On-Premises.  It is every bit as complex as SharePoint On-Premises and requires just as much hard work as On-Premises to get business value out of through solving the organization's very complex business problems.

Not every business will be willing to work that hard, and their very complex business problems will not get solved, regardless of whether they are using SharePoint On-Premises or Office 365.

Dropbox and other similar Cloud services really aren't even in the discussion (once the discussion gets serious) because they don't have the features needed to solve the really hard, really complex business problems.  But, SharePoint does.  You just have to be willing to work hard it.  No pain, no gain. :)

Jeff Cate
CEO and Founder
PremierPoint Solutions

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