1. Start with a deep functional analysis of SharePoint: Content management, collaboration, search, business intelligence and portals can all represent mission-critical areas of functionality. Assess each area for functional fit within your organization.
  2. Look for overlap with existing investments, and be prepared to rationalize your portfolio: This could require a replacement or co-existence strategy with existing systems or a decision not to use SharePoint for given workloads.
  3. Prepare to let a little chaos reign: User-generated content and user-developed applications will each provide challenges but will ultimately lead to organizations receiving greater value from SharePoint.
  4. Aim for early wins with portal and collaboration: Implement these high-value workloads and establish operational stability before moving on to more risky kinds of applications.
  5. Hold off on custom development at first: Ensure that custom code is introduced into the environment in a diligent and controlled manner that does not compromise existing, possibly critical, workloads.
  6. When ready, partner with application development & delivery pros (AD&D): The success of your IW depends on meaningful integration with external line-of-business applications, data and processes.
  7. Only deploy workloads when you have the skills to support them: If you don't have the resources to handle a particular workload, delay it until you can do it right.
  8. Be prepared to support SharePoint with third-party add-ons: In typical Microsoft fashion, SharePoint has some areas of very strong functionality and some areas where Microsoft's partner ecosystem must fill gaps.
  9. Budgets must match strategies: Funding for resources, staff, training and change management must match the ambitions the organization has for its SharePoint environment.
  10. Get in front of Office 365: Office 365 will make SharePoint far more affordable and easy to implement and will have the greatest impact among smaller organizations.

ROB KOPLOWITZ is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, serving Content & Collaboration Professionals. For more information, visit www.forrester.com.

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