Who really cares about content in SharePoint? Is it driven by IT or the business? This is a question that is coming up a lot lately.
The IT Camp
Lots of the people I speak with in IT just don’t care about what’s happening with content. Their real focus is on the web platform or the technology behind the content. They feel that it’s up to the business to handle content published and governance certainly does not lie with them.
The Business Camp
The business cares about content, but can only put policies and procedures in place for employees to read. Brand image, usability, searchability and other quality assurance factors as well as the overwhelming need to protect against content risk (breaching the Data Protection Act for example) are certainly areas of great importance. However, the business doesn’t understand the technology or how to automate content compliance.
What needs to happen is the business and IT camps need to align. IT needs to realise the importance of content compliance within the corporate governance strategy. The business needs to understand the technologies that are available to automate this process.
In a whitepaper authored by Mark Morrell, the former BT intranet manager, he mentions two points that underpin successful SharePoint projects and I would echo that these also apply to the content strategy:
1. Aligning SharePoint 2010 Strategy with the Business Strategy – Ensure both strategies are aligned, but also demonstrate how the intranet will contribute to the business.
2. Involving Stakeholders – Involve stakeholders such as senior management, heads of communications, human resources and business units, strong on knowledge sharing, in addition to the Head of IT and any heads within the IT function i.e. Head of IT Platforms or Collaboration with SharePoint 2010 plans to provide user requirements and feedback. By contributing to the process, user adoption is likely to be much higher.
The benefits to an organisation are certainly vast so the need for both camps to come together could provide a solid safety net and competitive advantages.