Enterprise mobile users may find more to like in the upcoming Microsoft SharePoint 2016. I recently spoke with Barry Jinks, president, CEO, & founder of Colligo, a SharePoint tools vendor, to get his perspective on what mobile users can expect in the upcoming SharePoint 2016.
Here you go mobile users
1. HTML 5, client apps, and syncing
Jinks sees Microsoft adding HTML 5 technologies giving mobile users the ability to work on a device with a responsive browser experience as an important development for mobile users will experience with SharePoint 2016.
"The thing about HTML5, of course, is that it's an online type thing. If you don't have a connection to the internet or whatever you can't obviously see that information," Jinks said.
Microsoft has also made investments in client apps and sync technology that will benefit mobile users accessing SharePoint 2016 in the future.
2. OneDrive improvements
Jinks is also sure that we'll see more progress on OneDrive.It's included in many Office 365 plans. Microsoft has OneDrive mobile client apps for iOS and Android.
He also said to expect sync technology developments here to enable offline information access. During the interview. Jinks was very careful to separate Microsoft from its competitors in the consumer-like file sharing space. He sees Microsoft's competitors as focusing on ease of use and access. Microsoft focuses on records management and other more enterprise features.
"Are we going to create a records management tool on a consumer device or are we going to create a consumer like a file sharing tool. It's impossible to do both," Jinks said
3. Improved governance
The other thing that's important in SharePoint 2016 for mobile users is governance according to Jinks. He said that governance is key with SharePoint and mobile users.
"You need a solution that can be governed in some way that provides the ability to be able to roll out policies to these devices," Jinks said. "It's interesting. I think users are very happy to have limitations in terms of how they can access information on the device. They don't want that in an unfriendly way, but they're okay if hey, we restrict you from doing something.
Jinks sees a stronger governance story for SharePoint 2016 which should be welcome news to security conscious enterprises.
4. Improved reporting analytics
Jinks says that SharePoint 2016's improved reporting analytics is going to be another bonus for mobile users. Reporting analytics give management better insights and understanding into how their mobile users are using information residing on their SharePoint sites. He explained that reporting analytics can deliver the following information about mobile users:
- What are they doing?
- What the adoption rates are?
- What scenarios are strong?
- Which scenarios aren't working ?
SharePoint administrators can use the information that SharePoint 2016 analytics returns to course correct and better serve their mobile users.
Reporting analytics is a definite trend to watch in enterprise mobility and mobile collaboration as enterprises seek better insights into the mobile workers to improve security, data governance, and improve mobile user productivity.
SharePoint & mobility: Future of Microsoft/partner ecosystem
With the continued growth of enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD),and Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) programs, the SharePoint, and enterprise mobility story has been less about Microsoft SharePoint but rather more about their innovative partners.
"Nadella has brought in this, 'Look, We need to be a 21st-century vendor that includes supporting multiple mobile devices, multiple operating systems. we need to go with applications that are the consumer like and feel consumer like.' There's no question that Microsoft is making the investment to do that," he said.
"Now, what's interesting about that is that the pendulum then turns because when they start to invest in consumer-like experiences so that they can compete with the platforms that are out there that are more consumer-like, keep the strength of their enterprise-grade infrastructure but build experiences that are more consumer-like," Jinks said. "You can't do everything. It's not boiling the ocean."
The hybrid implementation of Microsoft SharePoint 2016, servicing mobile users inside and outside the firewall, could prove to be another mobility development for Microsoft with the improvements that Jinks outlined in this interview.
What are you and your mobile users looking forward to in SharePoint 2016?
- Colligo Engage challenges the mobile collaboration market
- Cracking the mobile collaboration code
- Enterprise mobility and Microsoft SharePoint: A status check
- Office for iPad will impact enterprise mobility
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.