Microsoft SharePoint emerging as CMS platform of choice but new research highlights  ‘gaps’ that information professionals seek to fill

Microsoft SharePoint has emerged as the gateway to the mass of stored enterprise information that organizations around the world rely on to conduct business each day, but there are areas in which its capabilities need to be augmented by additional applications – particularly for metadata management and automatic classification – according to new research.

A new whitepaper from content intelligence software provider Smartlogic shows that the majority of information professionals in the US and Europe are disillusioned with SharePoint, but the report also explores solutions that could radically improve the performance of the workflow and content management application. The Smartlogic whitepaper, entitled Filling the Gaps, pulls together independent findings from recent studies by MindMetre Research and Gartner.

In the paper, Smartlogic chief executive Jeremy Bentley draws on the results of a survey of more than 500 information professionals by MindMetre, which found that more 53% of the respondents use Microsoft SharePoint to access internal information within their organization. However, the study also reveals that ‘findability’ could be an issue with the platform, as 80% of the SharePoint users surveyed say the application is falling short of their and their colleagues’ expectations when it comes to enterprise search – with 34% saying it is doing so by a considerable margin.

Bentley says in the report: “This, in turn, is leading to dissatisfaction with return on investment in SharePoint, with 62% reporting a degree of disillusionment with the ROI that the platform has delivered, due to the fact that some important content is still difficult to find and search results are not sufficiently relevant.”

MindMetre also found that 76% of SharePoint users surveyed see the elimination of work duplication is the one of the major goals they are trying to achieve with the application, but even more – 78% – are disappointed with the platform’s ability to deliver satisfactory access to internal information.

Discussing the significance of the whitepaper findings, Bentley notes: “At a time when organizations across the globe face continued economic uncertainty, improving returns on investment by better leveraging information assets is essential. The big challenge for the vast majority of enterprises is harnessing the information they have available and making it findable for staff, partners, clients, investors, regulators and other stakeholders.”

The Smartlogic whitepaper also draws on recent research from Gartner that identifies significant functional gaps in SharePoint that can be addressed with the installation of additional tools – particularly those that impact search performance. Specific functions flagged up in the Gartner report as areas in which SharePoint’s performance could be enhanced include the “mass-tagging of content and ingestion of existing content” and the “management of taxonomies and structures”.

“While SharePoint supports many crucial information applications, this report demonstrates that enhancing its functionality in the area of ‘findability’ can be of vital benefit to enterprises,” Bentley says. “Solutions are available that can be implemented alongside SharePoint to infuse it with ‘content intelligence’, enabling more precise and rapid retrieval of information.”

He adds: “By providing accurate and consistent auto-classification and visualization capabilities, as well as enterprise grade taxonomy and ontology management, these applications filter out extraneous documents and ensure that content is placed in context, enabling organizations to access, describe and control unstructured enterprise information.”

You can download this free whitepaper from here: Smartlogic whitepaper