4. Compliance and governance features. Social networking has the potential to run away from you. Look at Facebook or Twitter and you'll certainly see activities, posts and other things that are absolutely not appropriate for a workplace. Additionally, the sharing of content over a platform has certain compliance implications, particularly for regulated industries and those responsible for maintaining a Chinese firewall between departments. Consider social platforms that have the governance and security features you need to allow sharing and connections without jeopardizing your regulatory compliance or HR standards.
5. Metrics and analytics. Like any other IT effort, it is all well and good to proceed with an initiative, deploy it and get users involved and interacting with it. But how do you know how well it works? How can you measure adoption rates, volumes of comments, connections made and overall use of the system? How can you see where certain areas of the platform seem underutilized and what areas might require additional user training in order to achieve maximum uptake? Search for platforms with rich and varied analytics capabilities, particularly those that integrate with other data center and environment monitoring suites such as Microsoft System Center or Idera.
In short, 2013 is a new era in Microsoft productivity software. The Office client looks and feels different, both the client and the server are tied to the cloud more than ever before, and your server software might even begin updating itself in a completely unheralded fashion when it comes to server software. All of these are things for a sharp CIO to consider before making plans for upgrades.
Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a consulting firm based out of Charlotte. He's also an editor with Apress Media LLC. Reach him via email and on Twitter. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.
Read more about collaboration in CIO's Collaboration Drilldown.