September 28, 2010, 4:40 PM — Enterprise adoption of SharePoint is rapidly on the rise: A new survey from document management company Global 360 reveals that 90% of the survey's 886 respondents currently use SharePoint, with 8% using SharePoint 2010.
Moreover, 67% of those that use SharePoint spread it out enterprise-wide, indicating that SharePoint is not just for the IT department -- it's for all departments.
The survey also highlights how SharePoint is used at organizations. It commonly starts out as a content repository but then transitions to something more dynamic. Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents have extended SharePoint's use to manage document workflows; 66% use it for portal and web content management; and 56% use it to support business processes.
The idea of using content in SharePoint to improve the business is a major theme of the survey. Of the organizations surveyed, 27% say that over half of the documents stored in SharePoint are used to support mission-critical parts of the business.
But despite widespread adoption as well as improvements in search, workflow and social networking in SharePoint 2010, the SharePoint platform does come with its own set of challenges, according to the survey results.
Out-of-the-Box User Experience Not Great
Only 17.6% of survey respondents feel SharePoint delivers a great out-of-the-box user experience and adequately meets their needs. Conversely, 78% describe SharePoint as somewhat adequate to inadequate, and that it requires additional in-house design and development.
[ For complete coverage on Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software -- including enterprise and cloud adoption trends and reviews of SharePoint 2010 -- see CIO.com's SharePoint Bible. ]
When asked what was the biggest challenge with their SharePoint implementations, 21% of survey respondents said, "lack of an intuitive, easy-to-use interface for business users."
And an inadequate user interface usually means trouble, according to the Global 360 report: "Generic user experiences often lead to slower user adoption, lower productivity by users seeking workarounds to applications that do not meet their needs, and higher costs to rollback and customize applications."
Building Business Applications Takes Time and Effort
SharePoint, particularly SharePoint 2010, has made advances in areas such as social media, offline access and better CRM and ERP integration. But according to the Global 360 report, "the gap between what has been delivered and what can be achieved is still dramatic."