Microsoft sharepoint server 2010 : a case study of corporate governance guiding its selection, deployment and commissioning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Organizations typically have a reason for deciding to implement a particular business application, for example an Enterprise Resources Planning or a Human Resources management system. The reasons run the entire gamut from wanting to be the first (thus gaining a competitive edge) to playing catch-up (herd mentality perhaps) if everyone is deploying the solution. In between these extremes, there are organizations which take a technology agnostic view and thus set out to garner a good understanding of business challenges, opportunities, threats and risks to mitigate before seeking to deploy a particular solution. The objective of this study was to understand the business drivers and thought processes that the University of KwaZulu-Natal followed in selecting Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 technology. It was also the objective of the study to understand the deployment model chosen as well as understanding the attendant corporate governance put in place as well as the usage patterns once operational. The study followed a qualitative research format primarily using case study as the research design. Qualitative research was chosen because it is amenable to the collection, analysis and interpretation of data that cannot be easily or meaningfully quantified and summarized in the form of numbers. The case study research design was chosen because it allows the researcher to focus on one instance of a ‘thing’ to be investigated which then becomes the subject of an in-depth study using interviews and observation as a primary tool for data generation. A major finding of the study was that the University of KwaZulu-Natal followed an organic bottom-up approach which typically starts by providing collaborative sites and, as users find values in these sites, the implementation grows organically over a period of time. Another major finding was the absence of a formal documented corporate governance model that would include a SharePoint Delivery Plan for the organization. Consequently, of the four colleges within the university, only one college uses SharePoint technology. The adoption rate at the cluster or support services level is also markedly low.