SharePoint Cost of Ownership Jumped 16 Percent in 2012 Finds Osterman Research

Azaleos Supported Survey Reveals Skills Shortage, Lack of Trained Personnel and Storage Growth to Blame; SharePoint Adoption Remains High

SEATTLE--()--Azaleos® Corporation, the private cloud services company for managed SharePoint, managed Exchange and managed Lync , today released the findings of an independent research report conducted by Osterman Research on SharePoint that compares usage trends, costs and inhibitors over the past two years. The survey of IT executives and managers at mid-to-large enterprises found that the mean cost of ownership per user per month for SharePoint increased to $48.47 in 2012 from $45.77 in 2011. Nevertheless, Osterman found that SharePoint continues to grow rapidly with 28 percent of respondents planning to deploy SharePoint 2013 and another 26 percent planning to migrate to SharePoint 2010 in the next 12 months.

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According to the report entitled “SharePoint Census 2012 – Key Management and Governance Challenges”, virtually every leading inhibitor to the effective use of SharePoint deteriorated from 2011 to 2012. For example, lack of administrative skills, training and knowledge for current staff members jumped from 40 percent to 53 percent, while difficulty finding qualified IT personnel to manage SharePoint systems climbed from 28 percent to 44 percent. Furthermore, last year 87 percent of those surveyed said that staffing was “sufficient”, but in 2012 only 77 percent believe so. A full copy of the report is available here.

“There are a number of factors inhibiting faster adoption of SharePoint, but IT management issues seem to emerge as the most critical,” said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research, Inc. “Fundamentally, there is a shortage of trained and skilled SharePoint administrators. Furthermore, many IT departments are understaffed because enterprises underestimate the operations resources required to manage, secure, patch and back up SharePoint sites, databases, servers and farms.”

Storage, Staffing, Compliance Concerns

Osterman Research also identified the following key findings on SharePoint:

  • Storage Exploding: 30 percent of organizations will experience SharePoint content growth in excess of 40 percent during the next 12 months. Only one in 16 SharePoint-enabled organizations will experience negative or no growth in their SharePoint environment over the next year.
  • Staffing Cut Backs: Mean SharePoint administrator staffing levels dropped by 33 percent (from three to only two) from 2011 to 2012.
  • eDiscovery Problems: If organizations had to produce Electronically Stored Information (ESI) from SharePoint in response to an eDiscovery request or a regulatory audit, nearly half (43 percent) said they would find doing so difficult or very difficult.
  • Poor Governance: More than three-quarters of organizations have no governance plan (39 percent), or have one that is not followed (40 percent)
  • Application Struggles: In spite of the increase in companies offering SharePoint application development services, building or buying SharePoint apps was nearly 20% more of an inhibitor in 2012 than in 2011.

“According to Osterman Research, SharePoint is still an extremely high growth platform, but soaring management costs, coupled with insufficient staffing levels and training are leading to performance and satisfaction issues. This is threatening its momentum,” said Scott Gode, vice president of product management and marketing for Azaleos. “To derive maximum business value from SharePoint enterprises need to reevaluate current approaches to systems administration and storage management in order to reduce costs. In addition, SharePoint governance should be given a much higher level of priority by both IT and business leadership.”

Unfortunately, there is little new in the mid-November release of SharePoint 2013 that will address the key inhibitors identified by this research. While the new SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery Center and SharePoint App Management Service are promising advances, it is still too early to tell how they will be adopted and what cost savings they will provide.

About Azaleos

Azaleos Corporation provides managed email, collaboration and unified communications services available in private cloud, on-premise or mixed deployment architectures. Azaleos’ 24x7 managed services for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and AirWatch MDM improve availability, security and performance, while reducing maintenance time and costs. The patented AzaleosX technology platform enables customers to maintain control over servers and data including their location, while uptime, maintenance, and support is proactively handled by certified experts in Azaleos network operations centers. Hundreds of companies from Fortune 500 to mid-market enterprises rely on Azaleos to manage their collaboration infrastructures and address issues before users ever know they exist. A member of the National Systems Integrator program (NSI), Azaleos is one of Microsoft’s top 34 partners in the U.S. For more information, visit


Marc Gendron PR
Marc Gendron, 781-237-0341

Release Summary

SharePoint ownership cost jumped 16 percent in 2012 finds Osterman Research. Azaleos supported survey cites skills shortage, lack of trained staff and storage growth. Yet adoption remains high.


Marc Gendron PR
Marc Gendron, 781-237-0341