Welcome!

Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Vincent Brasseur, Gilad Parann-Nissany

Related Topics: .NET, SOA & WOA, Search, Silverlight, Web 2.0, Security

.NET: Article

SharePoint Gone Wild: When Governance Lacks Training | Part 2

Part two of in-depth SharePoint series

*If you missed part one of this series, you can read it here.

So far in this series, we've looked at business requirements that drive governance - including accountability, quality, appropriateness, restrictions, discoverability, and compliance. In this article, I wanted to touch on how training requirements - and lack of them - can affect governance for SharePoint.

In my travels, I speak with many large enterprise customers who often spill the beans on the issues they are having with relation to SharePoint. One of the biggest things I encourage is to get details on their plans and strategies for SharePoint governance. A key area that I see omitted in these plans is training. Training is oftentimes the elephant in the room, from an IT perspective, and subsequently is often left until the last minute without receiving the proper amount of attention.

Training Expectations
One of the key messages you'll hear from all the experts in the field regarding governance is the alignment of the business to IT, and actively encouraging their involvement in creating the plan. This should lead to business leaders asking for training, but they often don't know what to request. Additionally, IT's usual training is vague enough that the business won't realize it's insufficient to satisfy users until it's too late. What do I mean by "too late"? Training should be given to the appropriate people before the launch of any workload or application on SharePoint in order to maximize the effectiveness of the launch and adoption. It is never too late to start training, even if the launch has occurred, and often the business owners in the governance committee will push for this after the fact.

Make Users Earn the Privilege
For many customers, the main driver for training comes from the governance committee in terms of combating site sprawl and security compliance. Referring back to my post on governance and accountability, essentially Site Owners will get full control of their site collection or sub site which gives them the keys to do anything they wish. This is often dangerous in the hands of untrained owners. I have found many organizations enforcing that a business user cannot be a Site Owner until she has passed specific training. This can actually be enforced more readily with Claims Based Authentication where the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) token contains the certifications the business user has achieved.

Relevant Training Material
Some of the biggest hurdles in SharePoint training is that while it is easy to find SharePoint 101 for business users virtually anywhere, the requirement from the business oftentimes is that the training should be tailored to the look and feel of the actual workload or application the organization has had built. This essentially means re-creating all the screenshots in the context of the specific environment deployed. Another large hurdle is that, in most cases, teaching business users how to add new documents as well as create lists and libraries is not successful at driving adoption (Which we will talk about in my next post ... foreshadowing!) because people can't relate it to their current business process pains. As an example, training someone how to create a list with a few columns is great, but without context, that business user may not realize that her current inventory list in Excel could be a perfect candidate to be in a SharePoint list so that you can have workflows on each inventory list item, have alerts on inventory changes, version changes in inventory information at the item level, and have multiple views set up of the inventory items.

One-on-One Workshops
One very successful initiative I've witnessed is one-on-one training with business user Site Owners. Essentially, they are "SharePoint Champions" who work with a user to find out "what their problems are" in her day-to-day operations. The champion then starts showing how SharePoint can help improve the current process, and at the same time, educates the business user on how to create it for future reference. This is obviously a resource intensive exercise, but the results are worth it - one customer I spoke with told me that this helped to raise SharePoint adoption significant in their organization.

Brown Bag Sessions
An extension of one-on-one workshops, these are team events where people get together to talk about what they have done in SharePoint over lunch, hence "brown bag". These can be very useful for individuals to share what they've learned, but also for people to bring challenges and obstacles to a larger audience in hopes that the combined brain power will help them come to a resolution.

Scheduling Training
Frequently in an organization, the reason SharePoint is purchased is for collaboration and, in some circumstances, on a global scale. This immediately brings problems regarding scheduling training across geographies and time zones. AvePoint has 25 offices worldwide, so our training team deals with this by internally conducting three live sessions for each topic, leveraging Lync as well as a conference bridge.

Online Training
To best accommodate the varying availability of new users of the platform, training is either scheduled online or made available for viewing online at all times. In organizations I have worked with, SharePoint 2010 itself has been leveraged to host the videos and viewed via the Silverlight web part on the screen. I have a personal preference for consuming these things on the road, as I'm on it a lot, and therefore prefer to download the videos and push them onto my Samsung Series 7 slate for viewing on the train.

With all these things mentioned above, it is important that the expectation is set as part of the governance plan on what your organization will do and when in terms of end-user training.

Next week, I'll explain in greater detail the next business driver for governance with adoption requirements.

More Stories By Jeremy Thake

Jeremy Thake is AvePoint's Chief Architect. Jeremy’s 10-plus years of experience in the software development industry, along with his expertise in Microsoft technologies, earned him the label of “expert” in the global SharePoint community. He was named a Microsoft SharePoint MVP in 2009, and continues to work directly with enterprise customers and AvePoint’s research & development team to develop solutions that will set the standard for the next generation of collaboration platforms, including Microsoft SharePoint 2013.

Jeremy was one of only eight Microsoft MVPs from Australia, where he lived for seven years, who was recognized by the SharePoint Product Team in 2010 for his extensive contributions to the global SharePoint community. He also played an instrumental role in organizing the Perth SharePoint User Group during his time living there.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.