Did you know that Microsoft published a paper on the five ways in which SharePoint can save you money with customer stories and evidence early in 2009? In May, the Treasury published the Operational Efficiency Programme report with recommendations about how to save money around IT and back office. I thought it might be interesting to have a look at both documents and see where public sector SharePoint investments might just dovetail with OEP and help Public sector organisations deliver cost savings with their IT assets, particularly if they already have SharePoint.
Five Ways SharePoint Can Save You Money
Operational Efficiency Programme: back office operations and IT
The five ways sharepoint can save you money are:
· Reduce IT costs and complexity, by consolidating multiple product investments into a single infrastructure, by reducing infrastructure and support costs, and by getting all your enterprise solutions under a single product license.
· Reduce development costs, by using comprehensive out-of-the-box components, by using built-in integration with the Microsoft Office 2007 suite, and by using the .NET Framework object models to reduce learning curves and development time.
· Simplify management and training, by providing a single, easy-to-use interface for end users and for IT administration and governance.
· Improve employee productivity, by implementing collaboration workspaces, self-service Web publishing, social computing features, and business process workflow and forms.
· Enhance the effectiveness of customer service and sales teams, by aggregating critical information from across the enterprise and by providing rapid, easy access to information.
The recommendations of the OEP for IT are:
· Take into account the estimated £3.2 billion annual IT savings when determining departmental settlements
· Strengthen management information and increase use of benchmarking to drive performance
· Strengthen the governance of IT-enabled change projects
· Strengthen Gateway assurance process to improve success of major IT-enabled change projects
· Implement portfolio management processes of projects within departments to reduce overlap and duplication
· Promote greater standardisation and simplification of IT systems, desktops, infrastructure and applications
· Develop internal IT Capability within the public sector and continue to professionalise IT enabled change
Let’s address these from the OEP side:
1) Strengthen Management information and increase benchmarking to drive performance: PerformancePoint services in SharePoint provide “BI for the masses” where every employee in government can have real-time access to scorecarding and performance management tools to facilitate performance visibility and to encourage better performance and productivity.
2) Strengthen the governance of IT-enabled change projects: SharePoint on its own has a limited capability to increase the visibility and governance around projects through collaboration, BI and workflow. However, with Project Server on top of SharePoint, government has a set of tools that can deliver real transformation in the way projects are governed and this gives great management visibility. Just think about how powerful it would be even to deliver projects across your programme at 5% lower cost and 5% less time (a conservative estimate)? The ROI would stack up very easily.
3) Strengthen gateway assurance process to improve success of major IT-enabled change projects : Clearly doing the right projects is more important really than doing projects efficiently. Both Portfolio and Project Server as well as SharePoint workflow and BI give organisations a way to implement rigorous gateway process around projects.
4) Implement portfolio management processes of projects within departments to reduce overlap and duplication : SharePoint is already licensed in many agencies; once implemented for something it is important to appreciate how many solutions could be built with this asset without having to create or buy another siloed application. What’s great is that SharePoint doesn’t have to be a one-stop solution, it integrates with almost anything, but it also does offer a lot of capability if you want to make the most of what you have already got.
5) Promote greater standardization and simplification of IT systems, desktops, infrastructure and applications : SharePoint provides a great platform for many organisations that already have it, to standardize at the application tier. Look at “Five ways…” and understand how consolidating on SharePoint can help you cut costs. On something like PS Flex? SharePoint is there to be exploited by your business as part of the service you have already signed up to.
Clearly SharePoint offers a lot to your organization, if you make the most of it. If you have it already, are you making the most of it? If using a bunch of loosely or non-integrated solutions, is there scope for consolidations on a single infrastructure? If you have some best of breed solutions, are you thinking about integration and usability? In 2010 SharePoint will support all these open standards: DOM 1.0, HTML, HTTP, HTTPS, MathML , ODBC. ODF (IS26300), Open XML (IS29500), OpenSearch, OpenType, PDF 1.7, PDF/A, RTF, RSS, ATOM, SOAP, SVG, REST, UDDI, Unicode, URI/URN, W3C XML Schema, WCAG 2.0, WebDAV, WSDL, WSRP, XHTML, XML, XML Web Services, XMLDsig, XPATH, XPS, XSLT. There isn’t much it won’t co-exist with so this could really be the glue that makes your infrastructure start to deliver added value to your business. Let us know if you want to know more.
Posted by Phil