In February of this year I began to collect data on "annual budget range for SharePoint and SP Projects" as part of SharePoint Maturity assessments. There are now more than 200 assessments which include this data, and I wanted to share the results so far.
It appears that the competencies most obviously affected by budget are the Readiness competencies - Infrastructure and Administration, Staffing and Training, and Customizations (i.e. how customizations to SharePoint are supported).
Here are the numbers (click to enlarge):
Here are just the solution competencies:
And here are the Readiness competencies:
The good news is that more budget gets you a more trustworthy infrastructure and more hands to help. The bad news is that this rising tide isn't lifting all boats. Line items for servers and staff have been around long before SharePoint was a twinkle in Microsoft's eye, so it makes sense that companies would feel comfortable dedicating funds to them. If you want to use your SharePoint platform to automate your business processes or provide an integrated reporting dashboard, you'll need money as well as servers and staff; yet this data indicates that even the highest budgets aren't pushing these projects along. Why?
Looking for answers and resources to share, I searched for information on budgets for SharePoint and justification for SharePoint. I found:
- Technical consultants who want to help organizations define their budget for SharePoint
- Detailed information on startup costs (initial servers and licensing)
- A wide range of project management tools
But I didn't find a lot of helpful information on justifying and budgeting the more complex projects that we hear about so often from vendors, at conferences, in thought leadership from the tech community, and of course from Microsoft. There were a few gems, however, included in the Resources section below.
I'll be at SPTechCon Boston this week to talk more about SharePoint Maturity. If you're planning to be there, I'd love to hear from you why you think the numbers above are the way they are. If not, please comment and let me know what you think, or if you know of a great resource I've missed.
A Practical Framework for SharePoint Metrics - by Susan Hanley - a comprehensive whitepaper detailing how to link business objectives to metrics and how to gather them.
Learn to talk to your CFO in their language - by Paul Culmsee - a must-read series and the most comprehensive thinking/strategy I have seen on this topic
How Do You Measure SharePoint – Metrics for Business Users by Veronique Palmer (with reference to Jamison, Cardarelli, and Hanley)
Doing a SharePoint Assessment - by Mauro Cardarelli
Interesting "buy one get one free" approach from the SharePoint Visioneer