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HomeAvePoint CEO's BlogAge of Big Data: A Story of SharePoint Growth

Age of Big Data: A Story of SharePoint Growth

McKinsey’s recent publication of “Big Data: the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity” has a lot of people talking. Some key statistics from this report include:

· $600 to buy a disk drive that can store all of the world’s music
· 5 billion mobile phones in use in 2010
· 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook every month
· 40% projected growth in global data generated per year versus 5% growth in global IT spending
· 235 terabytes data collected by the United States Library of Congress in April 2011
· 15 out of 17 sectors in the U.S. have more data stored per company than the U.S. Library of Congress

These staggering data growth statistics are not surprising in today’s information age. Everyone knows that we are accumulating an overwhelming amount of data an ever-increasing rate. However, what many of today’s software industry analysts don’t see is how the story of SharePoint growth also mirrors one of data growth. Instead, many point to SharePoint growth as simply a function of Microsoft’s reported SharePoint license growth, which has now slowed to approximately 10% year-over-year. So while SharePoint was Microsoft’s fastest revenue growth product in Microsoft’s company history – faster than Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office – many argue that this was due to Enterprise Client Access Licenses (CALs), and that’s how today Lync is becoming Microsoft’s fastest revenue growth product.

On the other hand, for those of us living in the SharePoint ecosystem helping thousands of customers worldwide over the last decade, the story of SharePoint growth is just beginning. Data explosion, content sprawl, and data sink are all familiar terms by now for your typical SharePoint deployments.

From just my travels around the world talking to customers in both developed and developing markets, I see the typical SharePoint adoption/growth story as follows: Companies tend to start with the SharePoint administrator locking up SharePoint, where the platform becomes a just a glorified variant of a file share. Then, when companies have more comfort in the technology and increased confidence in the platform, they then open up MySites to individual users, making SharePoint an information collaboration platform where documents can be shared, versioned, permissioned, searched, and tracked. Next, organizations evolve to a more advanced usage of SharePoint, either as a record management (RM) system, enterprise content management (ECM) platform, or even as a general purpose application development platform. This is the essence of the layman’s description of SharePoint, that it is “Facebook for companies”.

So in effect, SharePoint’s footprint tends to expand and deepen as companies becomes more confident in the platform overall – and this is where the real SharePoint growth story lies. While SharePoint growth – from a Microsoft license perspective – has slowed down to just over 10% year-over-year, the data stored in SharePoint, connected to SharePoint, and extended out from SharePoint have grown exponentially.

Thus to leverage SharePoint effectively, to truly unleash it’s collaborative potential for today’s information workers, SharePoint infrastructure management considerations – including data import, connection, backup, archiving, and management – should NEVER be an after-thought. Thinking about scalability, performance, and governance of the SharePoint platform must be an integral part of the initial architecture discussions and considerations.

At AvePoint, we had the foresight to support this big data growth story years ago with our integrated, end-to-end infrastructure management solution that helps customers manage and control the exponential data growth within SharePoint in order to accelerate enterprise adoption of the platform. This is how AvePoint differentiates in the global SharePoint market, and we have now become a trusted advisor and partner in some of the largest global enterprise SharePoint deployments. We never aspired to simply provide tools here at AvePoint – through our continued innovation our message to the market is clear: AvePoint is the gold standard SharePoint infrastructure management solutions company worldwide.

The recent announcements of Dan Holme, Jeremy Thake, and Randy Williams joining our AvePoint family validates the professional community’s opinion of AvePoint. AvePoint’s nine straight years of exponential cash positive growth is the global market’s validation of AvePoint. And with the help of these top-tier SharePoint MVPs, we will step up our efforts to embrace the SharePoint community, continue to innovate by listening to your opinions and needs, and strive to help our customers benefit from the data explosion.

Going back to the McKinsey report on Big Data, the value of capturing data have already been estimated to have:

· $300 billion potential annual value to U.S. health care – more than double the total annual health care spending in Spain
· €250 billion potential annual value to Europe’s public sector administration – more than the GDP of Greece
· $600 billion potential annual consumer surplus from using personal location data globally
· 60% potential increase in retailers’ operating margins possible with big data

From a labor force perspective, McKinsey report this means additional job opportunities for:

· 140,000-190,000 more deep analytical talent positions
· 1.5 million more data-savvy managers needed to take full advantage of big data in the United States

Big data continues to get bigger – that’s also the real story of SharePoint growth. So let’s embrace this reality now, and take control of the growth and capture the real value of data!​

Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) co-founded AvePoint in 2001 and has served as the organization's Chief Executive Officer since 2005. TJ is responsible for overall strategy and direction of AvePoint, which includes product innovation, investor relations, and business development. He is focused on delivering value to customers, partners, shareholders, and the AvePoint team, every day. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.


  1. These numbers are staggering! Looks like SharePoint still has lots of room to grow. Great post 🙂


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