With the upcoming release of SharePoint 2010, many enterprise customers will have to do some soul-searching about how they want to manage a document repository system that in many cases is out of control.
Microsoft's answer is to move more management responsibility into its newly formed cloud computing platform. But for a lot of companies, moving documents into the cloud represents an untenable legal and potential security risk. In addition, some important features available on premise for SharePoint 2010 do not exist in the cloud.
For many companies, the only viable alternative is a managed services provider. For example, Azaleos today announced a managed service for SharePoint and AttachIT, an extension to its managed service for Exchange servers that allows customers to better manage file transfers by accessing files stored on another server that can be accessed via a URL. That gives customers a low-cost option for storing large files that might not be accessed that often, said Scott Gode, Azaleos vice president of marketing.
Gode estimates that 75 percent of all SharePoint installations today are not being actively managed, which would suggest that there is a lot of wasted IT infrastructure involved. Obviously, much of that information can be more cost-effectively served up via the cloud. But when the cloud is not an option, the next best thing might be a managed service run by people that make optimizing SharePoint systems, along with other Microsoft server applications, their daily business.