SharePoint – a Business Within a Business

In my session at the Share Conference last week, I was talking about not letting the SharePoint tail wag the dog, and that we need to remember that the software should be used to support business strategic goals, not the other way around.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot – and I think it’s a pipe dream to some extent.

SharePoint starts off in so many random ways in a big company, but invariably sooner or later, someone gets hold of it that develops a passion for it and that’s where it snowballs – planned or not.  In the words of the lovely Sarah Haase; the lone nut / first follower syndrome takes over.

Before long, SharePoint becomes this all-encompassing thing that engulfs so many people’s lives, (not in a bad way).  And yes, we spend a lot of time building business solutions on it for the company that has installed it, but so often it becomes a whole business in itself!

Think about it.  You’re sitting there in a bank or engineering firm doing banking or engineering things and one day you get told to “do SharePoint”. If that message gets done correctly, before you blink, everyone is doing SharePoint, and talking SharePoint, and Googling SharePoint, and asking their bosses for SharePoint jobs, then hiring for SharePoint, then strategizing for SharePoint, then budgeting for SharePoint, then buying more software for SharePoint, then starting divisions to run SharePoint, then obsessing about SharePoint, etc etc etc.

It’s the biggest selling product in Microsoft’s history, millions and millions of users globally sitting at clients or being vendors that come to clients to “do SharePoint”. It is a business. And it’s being a business inside your business, a completely separate business unit you never really planned for but isn’t going away.  It starts to get it’s own strategic goals!

So I take back the “SharePoint tail mustn’t wag the dog” line, because it does, a lot of the time.

Props at a SharePoint Conference


  1. I don’t know – it was just over a 4, but they don’t tell you how the other people did, so I can’t compare it. But I had a few people come to me to tell me they enjoyed it very much.


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