The new KISS: Keep Implementations of SharePoint Simple

  • 15-Apr-2009

As customers of our SharePoint research know, we've been detailing for some time the paradox of SharePoint 2007: that Microsoft markets it as an out-of-the-box information management system, while Redmond's ample partner channel sees it as an infinitely extendable development platform.

Of course, both viewpoints are half-right. But it presents a dilemma for you the customer: how much do you dare customize this platform? We've heard many of you express second thoughts after letting integrators (or ambitious in-house developers) run amok within your enterprise. To be sure, some consultants raised the alarm early on. One was Peter Seale, a wise and thoughtful consultant who shared with me last year some of his frustrations about trying to convince clients to take the simpler route, at a time when battalions of other Redmond partners were luring them with attractive -- but ultimately costly -- customizations.

So it was really nice to read SharePoint consultant Andy Dale explicitly recommend, "Keep SharePoint Simple." In addition to his three excellent reasons, I would add a fourth: you will have a much cleaner upgrade come Office 14.

If Dales' advice and the many supportive comments he received from other consultants represent a kind of maturation of the enormous SharePoint services ecosystem, then that's good news for everyone.