Taxonomies – If it Sounds Too Good To Be True, it Probably Is

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Taxonomies

Taxonomies – If it Sounds Too Good To Be True, it Probably Is

Taxonomies are a bit strange. Almost 15% of SharePoint organizations have manual methods to create and maintain taxonomies. I wish I could personally tell each organization that times have changed.

I know, I know, think budget, people, costs, etc. But with taxonomies, you get what you pay for. And although it may seem like a great deal, deploying a taxonomy solution is usually fraught with disappointment, when you finally figure out what it does and does not do. Unless you are a taxonomy guru, the right questions to put forward don’t naturally roll off of your tongue.

If you are looking for classification without the upfront work, then maybe accuracy and noise aren’t important to you. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they wouldn’t be important to you, but nevertheless they are features you can live without.

What if there is no way to manually change the classification rules? Or creating rules requires extensive and complex Boolean logic – not for the faint of heart, let alone a business professional. Even worse, what if there is no facility to refine or improve the classification at all?

And then there is the installation. Is it enterprise-capable or is it done by site collection? What if it overwrites manual classifications? What if classification is a one-time deal, and the taxonomy is not updated when a document is changed or deleted. What if the metadata wasn’t aligned to the business? That would be a nightmare.

I could keep on going, but these are real-life features that some vendors market. More to the point, they don’t market them as they don’t tell you about them. Anyway, the biggest issue is security. Security all the way down to the content level within a document. And if you are using the software to identify potential data vulnerabilities or to deny end user access to confidential information, forget it, it’s not real-time and it doesn’t perform those types of functionality. You’re out of luck.

Not what you bargained for? Probably not. Look before you leap. It may be a bigger fall than you anticipated. Are these limitations important to you?