Businesses always endeavor to achieve competitive advantage over their competencies, while reducing costs and achieving efficiency, this has upshot the application of information technology in every facet of business operations. The web has proved to be an enigma in influencing business dynamics; this has called for introduction of information systems which are web based to enable organizations create web sites, which can be used to share information and document collaboration.
Earlier systems such as SharePoint Services 3.0 from Microsoft achieved basic collaborative functions; however there was need to expand the capabilities of such software, to include functionalities such as commerce intelligence, enterprise content management, important specific information search and portal. Businesses consist of individuals, teams and collection of knowledge, which interact together for the success of the business objectives.
The information to be used in the business is from diverse sources and systems, therefore they have to be integrated via a single sign-on. Due to the vivacity of the business environment, collaborations and flexible management and deployment are a requisite, which should be enhanced by personalization of portal content to suite the specific needs of the users, as well as rapid exploration of pertinent information; this added capabilities were provided by SharePoint 2007.
Microsoft SharePoint 2007 based on Windows SharePoint Service (WSS) v3, ensured that it enjoyed all the merits of core services in addition to enhanced collaboration platform as argued by Windischman, et al. (2008). SharePoint 2007, has therefore several benefits over its predecessors, this includes utilizing diverse configurable workflow templates offered by Workflow Foundation, which promotes data sharing between team members.
SharePoint 2007 also offered the merit of being compatible with (WSS) v3,therefore organizations did not have to scrap away the (WSS) v3 data but only improved the on hand WSS sites by addition of features as presented by Vanessa, (2007). SharePoint 2007 also offered the advantage of bringing together the entities of the business such as experts, the people and the information.
This ensured that information from different platforms could be amalgamated together in order to achieve organizational objectives. The naissance of SharePoint 2007 was on already existent platform which was another advantage, since it inherited some features from predecessors such as WSS, SharePoint Services 3.0, Workflow Foundation and ASP.NET 2.0 users were at an advantage in terms of usability since they were operating at a familiar territory, which was boosted by simplified and friendly user interface.
Furthermore, SharePoint 2007 has the merit of offering a unified distinct platform for managing all types of communication within the organization, and as such, this offers centralized decision support, furthermore the system offers storage of local copy, enhanced searches, task synchronizations, capability to support Wikis and blogs and access to mobile device, this enables the business to pursue strategic goals based on data from diverse sources, which are centralized to arrive at the best decision.
However, SharePoint 2007 has several disadvantages, this includes excessive customization, to utilize the full capability of SharePoint 2007, organizations have to customize several features and require experienced personnel on the same, and however organizations may end up having the system without achieving all the intentioned purpose.
In addition, with the objective of delivering on all business needs, SharePoint 2007 is concerned in every area of business operation in terms of data management and document collaboration, however, businesses have divergent needs; therefore the system may fail to address the specific details of every particular organization. The other disadvantage of the release is having the database house all the documents, as well as failure to provide structured document level options.
In order to overcome the challenges above, businesses embarked on different strategies such as having SharePoint 2007 as well as a different storage of documents. The advent of SharePoint 2010 was a solution to the challenges of its predecessor, as well as offering enhanced capabilities, organizations have several business driven concerns to upgrade from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010.
Among the foremost reasons is the change of platform capabilities in SharePoint 2010, unlike the preceding pillars which were the chief considerations of SharePoint 2007 such as Business Intelligence and Business Processes, there was a paradigm shift to pillars such as Insights and Composites, business therefore predict limited support if they stick with the legendary SharePoint 2007, therefore upgrade to SharePoint 2010 in order to take advantage of the new technological developments. Since also businesses have adopted web driven transactions, businesses expect to utilize the Web Analytics feature introduced in the sites pillar, which did not exist in SharePoint 2007, this is in addition to Full-fidelity viewing and enhanced tools and Contextual Ribbon.
In business, it is argued that a business where everybody is a customer has no customers. Business strive to gain competitive advantage by offering content that target specific market segments, the introduction of Audience Targeting in SharePoint 2010, is therefore another business reason why business upgrade to SharePoint 2010. In terms communities, Microblogging and Keyword suggestions have been utilized by business in branding to gain competitive advantage, and the presence of such features in SharePoint 2010 has prompted businesses to upgrade.
Another pillar of SharePoint 2010 is the Content pillar, which has introduced previously inexistent features such as Support for Accessibility Standards and Shared Content Types and Managed Metadata Service, this have promoted the ease of managing content, hence improving business activities. The upgrade has also been promoted by Sandboxed Solutions and Business Intelligence Center which have assisted business in enhancing decision making. The paradigm shift has however resulted to disadvantages such as complicated customization of SharePoint 2010, and offering a different platform from what the users have been used to, hence complicated business operations.
It is therefore apparent that the shift in pillars constituting SharePoint 2010, the changing business environment dynamics and the web has been among the key business reasons for upgrading from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010.
Vanessa,Williams. (2007). Microsoft SharePoint 2007 For Dummies. New Delhi: Wiley India Pvt. Ltd.
Windischman, Woodrow et al. (2008). Professional Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.