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Information Governance for SharePoint… It’s about time!

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Information Intelligence  Group

You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again… SharePoint is big, really big. How big do you ask – some do, some don’t, but for those who do – Radicati Group states there will be 121 million end-user licenses in 2010. Even if only half of these licenses get used I can’t readily think of any other business application that has 60 million users… oh wait, there’s Microsoft Office.

Now think about the millions of users creating content in the most ubiquitous solution (Office) ever, and now consider the fact that SharePoint was specifically designed to seamlessly integrate with it and allow all those Office users to collaborate on and create new versions of all those lovely documents! One more time: SharePoint is really big.

Digital Universe Study, IDCHere’s another comment that will be of no surprise. Information is growing at an exponential rate. How fast you ask? According to IDC we will hit the 35 Zetabyte mark by 2020… that’s 35 followed by 21 zeroes if you were wondering.

Hmm… so SharePoint, a new epicenter for content is growing, information growth as a whole is seeing massive expansion… could there be any issues here? A rhetorical question of course, the answer is yes. So more specifically, what is the big issue? Well organizations are starting to struggle under the weight of all of the content rapidly growing within their SharePoint deployments.

Not to knock SharePoint, all of this growth is a good thing! Microsoft has absolutely figured it out, they have created an end-user environment that connects people, content and the applications they most commonly use. They made life easier and more efficient for the end-user, no question there.

But as we all know, with popularity comes at a price. And this price is the requirement for information governance.

SharePoint deployments are storing terabytes of information and as these deployments continue to grow, so too must Digital Universe Study, IDCthe disk space accorded for storing it. Logical. The issue here is that this native SharePoint storage is costly, and if we don’t continue to add more storage to this ballooning scenario we soon suffer the consequences of poor performance.

Add to this another statistic: it is estimated that 25% of SharePoint sites (the places where all of the content is kept) are inactive, or sadly, orphaned. Consider the fact that SharePoint is exceptional at helping groups centrally manage the project’s content. Of course like many things in life, projects come to an end, and when they do quite often people just move on to the next project, forgetting that old project and the SharePoint site that kept all of those valuable documents and their associated versions.

So what does this all mean? And more importantly how are we going to overcome these challenges?

Well we have two main requirements here: operational efficiencies and information governance. The operational efficiencies thing is relatively easy to understand and is the IT manager’s main focus, and it is really all about making sure we are managing or reducing costs accorded to the expanding SharePoint infrastructure while ensuring performance levels (SLAs, back-up windows, search times, etc.) are met. The information governance side is really more about that old or inactive data that really bears no benefit to being in SharePoint anymore. That’s the content we want to move to a more cost effective tier of storage for long term preservation under compliance.

Two pretty big requirements, and a pair that no solution vendor can completely help organizations manage… until now!

To you I present EMC SourceOne for Microsoft SharePoint! A complete solution built specifically around the requirements of SharePoint users (both administrators and end-users) that delivers both operational benefits and information governance to SharePoint content.http://www.emc.com/sourceone

The newest member of the EMC SourceOne family of information governance solutions SourceOne for SharePoint supports and enhances an organization’s use of SharePoint, provides extended control and governance to SharePoint content, and ensures that end users are involved in the broader information environment and its related processes without having their day-to-day activities affected.

By providing compliance and operational control and discovery and litigation preparedness capabilities, SourceOne for SharePoint helps ensure that regulatory requirements are met and corporate risk is reduced. SourceOne for SharePoint also provides customers with improved operational efficiencies, and system scalability and performance while reducing the burden and costs incurred by IT departments.

EMC is leveraging recommended Microsoft technologies to deliver a unique offering that gives customers a building block approach to overall information governance. EMC is delivering a single pane of glass for administrators to manage email, SharePoint and files with the same policies and administration console. All while delivering a transparent and seamless end user experience.

Sound too good to be true? Well don’t just believe what I’ve written here – check out our EMC.com/SourceOne page to find more detail. We’ve got some great new materials and a whole bunch of analyst written content that shows you why at the very least you need to be considering the big information governance picture when SharePoint is living within your information infrastructure.