Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Phantom Security Menace: Rogue SharePoint Sites

Neil MacDonald of Gartner estimates that 30% of SharePoint servers are deployed outside of the management of the IT department.

This doesn't surprise me in the slightest. This has been one of the big concerns I've had over SharePoint for some time. SharePoint requires organizations to work together... even to implement! Clear roles and responsibilities should be defined before any project gets started. The most common pitfall of any SharePoint project is the lack of agreement between the IT side and the business side within an organization.

Usually the experts are the folks in the middle. We're the mediators and the peace-keepers. SharePoint experts are able to communicate and understand business needs at the same time working under the umbrella of restrictions that IT holds. I've seen time and time again where IT holds the keys to the kingdom and all decisions are made under an oppressive IT thumb. (I'll save business justification for a later discussion or common pitfalls.) Last time I checked, IT works for the business... right?

I think it all comes down to a matter of trust and a solid governance plan. IT doesn't want to lose control and the business just wants their needs met. So it really doesn't surprise me that 3 out of every 10 instances go outside of IT, whom can stonewall any project.

The way I see it, there should always be an intermediate team that works with both the business and IT. I think the worlds are so different that there really has to be a translator. It doesn't make the process much easier and in fact, puts a lot of pressure on the experts stuck in the middle but it's for the greater good.

Now, as for me.... on to writing up 'tangible' MOSS benefits for the business and arguing with IT for SharePoint Designer rights in production. These are the chronicles of a SharePoint consultant! ;o)