How are you? I hope you’re off to a great 2013! This year looks promising, especially with the launch of Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013. I’ve been very fortunate to be deeply involved with the SharePoint ecosystem for the past nine years, working with enterprise customers, and engaging with the greater SharePoint community worldwide.

 
In the past few years, it has been evident that a revolution is brewing in the enterprise. Whether you like it or not, this revolution is happening in your enterprise as proven by these four telltale signs:
Consumerization of IT, aka BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Movement
 
It’s so easy and convenient for business people to bring their own devices or even procure web-based tools that meet their business needs. Gone are the days of businesses fully relying and waiting on IT to provide them with a relevant solution.

Lightning Speed of Business

Our global economy and the exponential growth of technology have expedited business transactions worldwide. Sales cycles are shorter, immediate access to a global market is the norm, and the competitive barrier to entry has been lowered. Who would have imagined a viral video watched by 1.2 billion people worldwide in less than six months can generate $8M USD in ad revenue? Is your enterprise adequately equipped to adapt to this new reality?

Doing More with Less
 
The global economic crisis in the past few years has forced organizations to cut their expenditures and be more prudent in their investments. We are expected to do more with less. Thanks to technology platforms, such as SharePoint, doing more with less can certainly be achieved. However, unless business needs are strategically aligned with your SharePoint investment, it’s nothing but a glorified network share. Sound familiar?
 
Grassroots Social Collaboration
 
Gone are the days where you’ll pick up the phone or send an email to a subject matter expert asking for help. With the proliferation of consumer social tools, information workers are used to collaborating with their peers anytime, anywhere, with any device. How are we supporting this mode of collaboration in the enterprise?
Fortunately, with SharePoint 2013 and related technologies, you can guide your business through this major paradigm shift and help address these needs.
 
The question is: what should your enterprise focus on in 2013?  Here are five SharePoint trends that will help you lead the enterprise revolution:
 
1.  Take Advantage of the Cloud
 
Unless technology infrastructure is your core business, utilize the cloud. Microsoft’s various offerings, such as Office 365 and Windows Azure allows you to minimize your capital expenditure on technology infrastructure. See how these organizations have benefitted with Office 365. Potentially, you can even generate revenue through the Office App Store. Learn how you can start developing apps and sell them on the app store.
 
2.  Promote the Value of Enterprise Social
 
There is still a grave misunderstanding of what enterprise social is. People still think that utilizing enterprise social tools is a waste of time and not relevant in their respective organizations. As defined by Gartner, “Enterprise social is a way to enhance communication, coordination and collaboration for business purposes.” If planned accordingly, SharePoint, along with Office tools, can certainly deliver this value to your organization. See it in action:
 

The key to driving enterprise social technologies is making it relevant to the organization. Watch this webinar I delivered for the upcoming SharePoint business conference SHARE on how to drive culture change and help your organization adopt enterprise social technologies:

 
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Lastly, make sure you download this recently published whitepaper on how your enterprise can take advantage of enterprise social in this new world of social collaboration.
 
3.  Focus on Delivering Business Value
 
Most users view SharePoint as nothing more than a glorified network share. Lack of contextual, business-relevant understanding of how SharePoint can address their business needs is the key reason why it’s not being used effectively. To take your SharePoint investment to the next level, you must address relevant business needs. First, you can do this by prioritizing business needs and map those needs to SharePoint.
 
Additionally, automating manual business processes can greatly increase buy-in and adoption. Here’s a presentation I did with Nintex on how addressing project management needs and automating processes with SharePoint, Office and Microsoft Project can deliver business value:
 
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4.  Drive Sustainable SharePoint Adoption
 
While training is a critical component that can drive better SharePoint adoption, it is not enough. To make the most out of your SharePoint investment, it is essential that your users take advantage of SharePoint’s full capability to address their day-to-day business needs.
 
Having facilitated various sustainable SharePoint adoption program with enterprise organizations, I found that the key to drive excitement, organizational buy-in and adoption is being able to provide relevant, business contextual application that drives consistent, sustainable usage. This involves IT jointly working with key business groups like HR or corporate communications teams to establish:
  • Relevant training
  • Self-service support mechanism for users
  • Knowledge co-creation platform
  • Incentive programs
  • A 6-12 month enterprise sustainable adoption plan
If you’re interested, join me on April 19 in Chicago as I facilitate a workshop on “How to Drive Sustainable SharePoint Adoption”.
 
5.  Ensure Your Enterprise Is in Compliance
 
For companies that operate in a highly regulated environment, the current enterprise revolution offers both promise and the threat of new risks. In the regulated space, it is critical to understand who is using your content, what they are using it for, and what requirements (e.g. privacy, information security, accessibility, and retention) are mandated by law, statute, or internal policy. Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) are hot topics in our technology-driven enterprise environment today. SharePoint allows you to collaborate with confidence while addressing regulatory compliance requirements.

Learn more about how you can balance collaboration and security in this presentation by AvePoint CEO TJ Jiang at Microsoft Australia’s executive breakfast, held last November in Melbourne:

 
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Are you excited? I am. I hope you’ll consider these trends and equip yourself to lead the enterprise revolution in 2013!​