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SharePoint Remains 'Underused' According to AIIM Research

Despite Microsoft’s great effort to make SharePoint more accessible on the go, more intelligent, and more personalized, everything in the garden is not rosy. In fact, according to the study conducted by independent information management analysts AIIM, only 43 percent of respondents are somewhat aware of what SharePoint 2016 offers and 29 percent indicate they have no awareness at all.

The AIIM study, ‘The Impact of SharePoint – 2016’ was completed by 274 respondents, and based on its results, Bob Larrivee, Vice President and Chief Analyst, AIIM claimed: “SharePoint 2016 has the potential to continue to be an underused piece of software for many enterprises.”

“Using SharePoint has always meant a change in the way we work, and given that SharePoint has been with us for many years, it is disheartening to find that many organizations are still saying that their SharePoint project has stalled or failed due to either inadequate user training (67% of respondents) or bad user experience (66% of respondents),” continued Larrivee. “This should be reassuring for Microsoft, and we hope SharePoint can further empower people and organizations. It is a platform that can offer a lot to any organization and its people. The right training and user support is essential for SharePoint to deliver even more value than it does now."

SharePoint 2016 Adoption 


Some organizations embrace each new version of SharePoint, but apparently, others have a hard time keeping up. According to the study, eleven percent of organizations have reached a plateau in terms of SharePoint adoption and 22% say their SharePoint adoption is facing challenges from the user community. 

Moreover, one of the very interesting key findings is that when SharePoint 2016 was being introduced, some organizations were just moving to SharePoint 2013 and some only to SharePoint 2010. On this note, more than a quarter of respondents say they are still using SharePoint 2010 with 41% citing they are using SharePoint 2013 as their live primary version. Only 17% of respondents indicate they will increase their spending to upgrade to SharePoint 2016, with an additional 13% indicating they will make their initial SharePoint 2016 purchase. After all, it is not surprising to hear that only 2% say they are live with SharePoint 2016, and 19% with SharePoint Office 365.

For those who are planning for SharePoint 2016, 15% of respondents see a move to SharePoint 2016 as part of their strategic platform vision in building their information management ecosystem. However, there is a huge struggle when it comes to the enhancements found in SharePoint 2016 as 43% say they are somewhat aware of what SharePoint 2016 offers, while 29% indicate they have no awareness at all. Only 23% of respondents indicate they understand what SharePoint 2016 offers.

User Experiences

  • On the bright side, 58% say SharePoint is popular for project and team site use as a collaboration tool. 

  • As an ECM/DM solution, 43% prefer using their file-share application for everyday content.

  • For 50%, internal facing SharePoint sites are in wide use.

  • On the other hand, 76% say they do not use SharePoint for their email management. 

  • Nearly a quarter say they widely use enterprise search, and 19% cite the wide use of SharePoint for review and approval processes.

  • 40% say that a mobile application of SharePoint is very important for controlled document access. 35% see a mobile application of SharePoint as important in providing intranet capabilities on a mobile device. 

  • Accessing SharePoint is done from home using a VPN connection for 50% of respondents, while 36% say they get there through their Outlook client. Outside access to SharePoint is discouraged by only 15% of organizations.

Latest SharePoint Updates

  • 29% percent see a move to the cloud/365 as cost savings in IT and nearly one-third of organizations view this as a strategic platform vision, while 22% see it as taking advantage of the latest SharePoint updates. 

  • 31% of organizations are using SharePoint 365/SharePoint Online and 17% plan to move everything to Microsoft’s hosted SharePoint Online/365. However, when it comes to the issues or concerns with using a cloud or hybrid SharePoint solution, 58% feel security is an issue, while 53% feel control over what is managed in the cloud is an issue.

  • 64% of organizations are happy with SharePoint out-of-the-box. 

  • For 51%, widgets and web parts are in play for SharePoint optimization.

  • When it comes to 3rd party SharePoint add-on products, 30% of organizations plan to implement storage and archive management with 11% citing it is in use now. 28% plan to have integration with Outlook, while 23% say this is already in place today.

  • 50% of the organizations are planning for and implementing SharePoint auxiliary products for data migration, and an additional 24% say they are using this now. 13% use SharePoint auxiliary products for digital signatures. 


These are not the only issues with the platform, even though SharePoint and Office 365 have an unmatched history and presence in the CMS industry, users still have questions around how to utilize these platforms most effectively. Events like  SharePoint Fest Seattle 2016 offer a unique access to some of the brightest minds in the community around SharePoint and Office 365 for those would like insight or those who want to extend their expertise. Our reporter Laura Myers will be there to offer our viewers exclusive interviews with event speakers and attendees in order to tap into the resonating conversation buzzing on the event floor. Here’s what Laura has to say about the event: 



The bottom line is that SharePoint is a comprehensive platform that can meet many enterprise challenges and needs. Not to mention, how impressive the upgrade of SharePoint 2016 is. However, this study begs a really important question: How are organizations going to invest in it without a full understanding of what it can offer and without engaging with it in a committed way? Well, that also tells us why SharePoint hasn’t been used to its full potential. It seems like its about time for Microsoft to learn from its mistakes and make SharePoint super easy to use if it still wants to hold a lion’s share in. 

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Venus Tamturk

Venus Tamturk

Venus is the Media Reporter for CMS-Connected, with one of her tasks to write thorough articles by creating the most up-to-date and engaging content using B2B digital marketing. She enjoys increasing brand equity and conversion through the strategic use of social media channels and integrated media marketing plans.