The current state of SharePoint looks something like this:
In 2009 SharePoint was over a $1 billion dollar business, and we suspect that with its current massive growth it is rapidly nearing $2 billion in yearly revenue.
What is the Future State?
The future state of SharePoint will be all about the people. The people using SharePoint today are by and large an incredibly giving community of professionals. We see this on a global scale with events like the SharePoint Saturday events, the SharePoint User Groups (SPUG’s) and countless other SharePoint focused conferences around the world.
Much like SUN did with Java did in 90’s and early 2000’s I propose the SharePoint communities continue on their path to engage the earliest adopters --- students.
As evidenced by the numbers above SharePoint is Pervasive.
The Future of SharePoint will need more developers, IT Professionals and Line of Business experts to create solutions. My prediction is that there will be a boom in solutions that look nothing like SharePoint does today. SharePoint will reach it’s true potential when it becomes intrinsic and invisible to the applications we use every day. Whether they are business applications, travel utilities or the operating systems for our homes, cars and buildings. See SharePoint is WIP Smart
What's Missing – Solutions?
What’s lacking are the solutions. Business users need to know they have the power to “ASK for Solutions” and expect their companies will deliver them. Notice I did NOT say “Ask for SharePoint” – again see SharePoint is WIP Smart.
In the coming months I expect to see more and more solutions that utilize the underlying capabilities of the SharePoint Platform. I expect to see point solutions that highlight each segment of the SharePoint Wheel (left) and some that combine them with other systems to create unique solutions that have never been seen before.
I expect we will see widgets and applets that “surface” data in a SharePoint environment. That data may existing in other Line of Business systems and may come from a combination of LOB systems. This is an example of a “Composite Application” in SharePoint parlance --- also called a Mashup by others. The point is that these solutions will not be the typical browser based SharePoint interface. They’ll be applets and widgets that solve specific business (or technical) tasks.
Of course, solutions will be developed by the people that have been building SharePoint based solutions for years. However, I suspect that we will see the rise of a new breed of developers, IT Pros and LOB experts that will come from the ranks for students.
The BIG Influencers
- SharePoint Saturday events – Why? Free, LOTS of Sharing
- #SPHelp – Use this hashtag on Twitter for SharePoint Help.
- SharePoint StackExchange (thx @robdoria)
- Microsoft has over 10,000 pages about SharePoint on TechNet
An Ironic Gap
The Newest and Oldest SharePoint users have the most advanced community functionality ~Sadie Van Buren
Need Training? There are a lot of firms focusing on all three of the big buckets --- Developer, IT Pro and Business. A few examples of well known firms are listed below.
- AIIM – SharePoint and ECM Courses
- Kollabria – SharePoint Business Professional
- CriticalPath, Mindsharp, New Horizons
The SharePoint community is incredible. I am happy to consider myself part of it and I am happy to say I have been involved with it from its early days. I speak regularly at events and have written a lot of articles and blog posts about the SharePoint Experience.
The Market Continues to Grow … RAPIDLY
Microsoft is currently adding some 20,000 users a day to the (SharePoint) platform
What Can You Do?
- Invite a Friend
- Share What You Know
- Get Involved
The future of the SharePoint community is counting on you. I’m happy to help. Just ask … I will work with you to find the people, products and to define the processes you need to make every SharePoint deployment a success.
|A Similar Model Can Be Applied to WP7|
| || |
The future of SharePoint will have a strong connection to the rise of the Mobile Device market – which includes phones, tablets and many other devices (automobiles, GPS units, etc.). Which brings one of the older Microsoft Mantras to the forefront --
Any Place, Any Device, Any Time
How Can You Help?
By getting out there and sharing and learning. These two points are inextricably tied together. I hope to see you in person, online and in print.
Please share your thoughts and ideas on whether you think I’m onto something here or on something here.
Feel free to join the discussion with a comment here or contact me at any of the coordinates below.
About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.