The SharePoint 2013 Features People Care About

(I wrote this for and I really liked it, so I'm posting it here too)

It’s award season, and it’s SharePoint 2013 capturing everyone’s attention on the Red Carpet.

Anyone who works with SharePoint has likely been consumed with talk about SharePoint 2013, especially since SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas. The buzz built slowly over 2012 and has reached a boiling point in recent weeks as the new version moves closer to a general release. There was little doubt SharePoint 2013 would draw interest, but it has to be surprising to see the level of interest.

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This fact was confirmed in the results of the SharePoint Content Survey, which was conducted at SPC 12. Of more than 100 SharePoint and IT professionals surveyed, from both the public and private sector, roughly 60 percent said they were planning a SharePoint 2013 upgrade within the next year. The results made the SharePoint and IT media take notice – CMS Wire led off an article with that fact and got the social SharePoint community talking.

There has been a lot of discussion around SharePoint 2013 in general – but what are the specific features creating buzz? In the survey,  respondents could choose between 8 new, much-discussed features and choose which would they be most likely to deploy in SharePoint 2013 – they were allowed to pick more than one:

Clearly, mobile device support was the clear leader as most anticipated feature and it comes as no surprise. Our entire world is becoming mobile, as anyone who uses a smartphone or tablet can attest – especially those of you reading this right now on a smartphone or tablet. The pace of business is constantly speeding up and, with SharePoint established as the standard for knowledge sharing and collaboration, it needs to keep pace.

The next two on the list – New MySites and New Community Sites – play into the growth of SharePoint across the enterprise. With content growing at 75% per year and adoption usually organization-wide, these sites serve as way to better serve different departments and businesses cases.

Throughout the history of organizations undertaking SharePoint upgrade projects, moving and reorganizing sites has been a common theme and one that will continue through SharePoint 2013.
On the flip side, it was interesting to see less than 40% of respondents say they would be most likely to deploy microblogging or activity feeds – the much-talked about new social features in SharePoint 2013.

There are a couple possible reasons for this. The first could be the wording of the question – even if social isn’t the main reason for upgrading to SharePoint; it could certainly be an added benefit after the move.

The other possibility is that organizations will eventually roll out social features, but not immediately after making the move to SharePoint 2013. We have seen organizations of all sizes show a reluctance to immediately jump on board with social media – from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram – until it is established. There will always be early adopters, but will many take a wait and see approach?

The main survey takeaways are ones you probably could have guessed before reading – people are excited about upgrading with mobile device support driving the most interest. What you probably didn’t realize is that 60% of SharePoint professionals want SharePoint 2013 now – or at least very quickly.

To view the full survey results, please click here:

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