The Economics of SharePoint Governance – Part 1 – Overview

This series is a lot of parts that I am quasi-using pieces of for a academic research paper stance so bear with me if it gets too esoteric. Or read the other governance articles available within the SharePoint Security category within the main site (available through the parent menu).

SharePoint Governance is about the criteria for rational governance decisions making by managers of business enterprises. The criteria elaborated here for SharePoint enabled business enterprises can also be applied to non-commercial decision settings, including government agencies or eleemosynary institutions. Before I precede an examination of these decision criteria, I will review the essential economic nature of decision making in order to establish the fundamental principles upon which decision criteria may be based. One person simply cannot deploy all that he or she might wants in the SharePoint environment without consequences for other persons and the other environment. A SharePoint assets can be considered scarce when its price exceeds zero (P greater than 0). The price may be expressed and paid in non-pecuniary terms as well as in money in terms SharePoint infrastructure costs. There are a few things that have essentially zero prices in SharePoint. Managerial decision making would require little more than determining the time sequence of acquisition if there were a multitude. In this lies the neat part of SharePoint governance.

Some governable SharePoint object model assets are available in greater quantities than others, such as SPList initialization and space. The quantities of such governable assets so exceed simple abundance that their effective infrastructure prices within some organizations can be considered negative (P less than 0). Organizations in general would not pay positive infrastructure prices to acquire more of such thing. Such superabundance’s may be regarded as nuisance governable objects (an obvious contradiction in terms), or “bads.”

It is because of finite SharePoint assets holdable within an environment that organizations have to make choices. The “economic problem” is the juxtaposition of productive SharePoint resource scarcity against human want insatiability. In attempting to resolve the economic problem, information workers must make choices in how to use their scarce resources as efficiently as possible in the satisfaction of human wants while remaining with governable parameters. Making governance choices is the essence of infrastructure decision making, and making governance decisions is the central function of governance management. The management of any human activity is ultimately an exercise in economizing anyways. CMS governance economics focuses upon the criteria for making rational economic decisions in regard to the use of scarce content management resources.

The organization of individual capabilities into separate tenant business enterprises within the SharePoint environment can further enhance productive ability relative to that which individuals alone can achieve. The enterprise accomplishes such enhanced productivity by serving as a vehicle for organizing the specialization and division of labor into boundaries that surpass normal business ones. Firms governed by hierarchical, authoritarian control usually can accomplish resource reallocations more efficiently (i.e., at lower infrastructures costs) than can be achieved by human interaction through market mechanisms. The management of such tenant SharePoint enterprises involves the exercise of authority, usually from a top level of responsibility downward through progressively lower levels of responsibility and function. The decisions made by the manager of the enterprise encompass both the acquisition of scarce resources from outside the enterprise, and the efficient allocation of those resources within the enterprise. Thus, the management of a commercial enterprise ultimately is an exercise in economizing. The motives, behavior, legitimacy of authority, criteria for successful decision making, and consequences of operations constitute the heart of a study of SharePoint governance economics.


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