Let me be the first to welcome you to the future. I see a few changes coming in this next year. Here are a few that are top of mind. Welcome to 2014! The biggest theme is diversification.
1. SharePoint as a brand will take on some changes. These changes will emerge as more enterprise services are integrated and cloud is bigger investments. Microsoft will be making some WILD changes this next year with the new leader. This new leader will mention SharePoint many times in their welcome.
2. Top influencers in the community will DIVERSIFY their skills and what they are doing. You’ll see developers taking on Azure, you’ll see IT Pros taking on Virtualization and many taking on skills outside of the Microsoft areas as they broaden their skill sets to become not just Microsoft experts, but Industry experts. Look at what Andrew Connell is doing with WCM as an example.
3. SharePoint Partners will look to WPC and SPC14 for direction of what to do next. Many are freaked out by what little is seen today for partners in the cloud services of SharePoint and Office so, you’ll see many some building infrastructure in Azure and others going into Dynamics.
4. Consolidation! If you thought the Axceler, Idera, and SharePoint911 purchases were wild… hold on. There’s more to come.
5. Mobile will continue to be a major theme of 2014. With Responsive Web Design being a major Intranet redesign momentum as frameworks get adopted.
6. Cloud services will continue to be pounded on as those looking for basic services are happy and those looking for more customization are disappointed, but 2014 brings more flexibility surprises. Security continues to be misunderstood and distrust that stems from government big brother continues to plague migrations.
7. Yammer? Yammer is going to be popping up all over the place in Microsoft’s hosted services. Publish to yammer, including bringing the data streams into the activity stream will get much easier. Publishing a document from SharePoint Online to Yammer will be as simple as hitting the drop down if not more simple.
8. SharePoint Experts will feel some identity crisis as Microsoft determines what brands to promote in this new world. It will feel like Microsoft is downplaying SharePoint as it promotes the Office brand and Office 365 brand bigger and bigger. Microsoft will look to try to build Office 365 communities with yammer as a major component of that.
9. SharePoint Expert will seem too narrow in Consulting practice with Yammer and Dynamics needs as well as integration with Azure from a developer perspective. As a result, more and more consulting practices will have a hard time articulating this CLOUD architect role and CLOUD developer role which means API development and rich integration across HTML5, Azure, SharePoint, Yammer, and more. What you don’t know Exchange? How can you help us on our Office 365 roll out? You must learn the Exchange APIs, you must learn identity and so on. There is plenty of work, but you must diversify and train up! All this migration and rollout of new services provides a lot of work. SharePoint On Premises isn’t going away any time soon, but if that’s all you do, you will start to feel like a dinosaur if you don’t have a solid understanding of what happens first (updates that happen first in Office 365.)
10. Rise of the Enterprise Social Consultant. There will be more and more people who need to KNOW the Business and guide the business to the solutions it needs. These are not geeky roles, they require intimate knowledge of the business and can speak to the executives and clearly show how it will transform and optimize the processes. As IT continues to be downplayed, each of the lines of business will get more and more flexibility in defining it’s own needs in the cloud. Business agility and transformation through Office 365 with emphasis across Yammer, Lync, Exchange, SharePoint.