I recently read an article that proclaimed--without any grey area--that Microsoft SharePoint governance has nothing to do with technology. I certainly understand the sentiment. Governing an enterprise platform such as SharePoint can be complicated and requires planning and buy-in from various people. However, I also believe that giving SharePoint users access to the right tools can empower them to keep track of whether their governance plans are being effectively enforced. To put it succinctly, wouldn’t you rather know right away about issues than wait until someone decides to proactively check for them?
In my vast spare time (for those who don’t know me, that’s a joke), I’ve been working on a SharePoint community application that I’m now ready to start talking about.
GovernanceHx is a web application that is bringing SharePoint governance to the Cloud. The application allows any SharePoint user to run free, read-only reports against their SharePoint servers with the express purpose of combatting SharePoint sprawl. This means that people without admin access, or development skills, can easily generate reports about the growth of their environment and use them to gain an insight into changes over time. This is why I chose to go with the name GovernanceHx. “Hx” is commonly used in the health care field as the abbreviation for history. GovernanceHx shows the governance health of your SharePoint server over time.
At this time, I’m showing some demos and recruiting a few SharePoint experts to be Governance Advisors on the project. I’m happy to announce that SharePoint expert and prolific conference speaker, Richard Harbridge, has joined the project as the first Governance Advisor.
These advisors will help shape the future of the project by using their real-world SharePoint experience to identify the best application of the GovernanceHx framework. Since GovernanceHx tracks growth, the advisors will help figure out which growth reports will be most useful.
And speaking of frameworks, that’s one of the coolest aspects of this project. I’ve developed the GovernanceHx reporting framework using Windows Azure, so users will not need to install anything at all on their SharePoint server to run reports against Office 365 or any SharePoint sites that are accessible over the net.
Cloud-based SharePoint governance opens up all sorts of possibilities for Office 365/SharePoint online customers. For example, I’m sure there are plenty of small to medium businesses that would like a solution to help with their governance enforcement but simply can’t afford a large enterprise reporting application for the job. GovernanceHx will be the low friction way for these users to discover sprawl issues before they become unmanageable.