As anyone who recently boarded a plane – or is a parent to a teenager – can attest to, people everywhere are fixated on their mobile devices. There is no doubt that our personal lifestyles are fundamentally changing in this era of rapidly increasing mobility. But what does this mean for your business?
In a recent survey, we asked 100 SharePoint experts at ESPC what the mobility revolution means to their business, and we wanted to share some of the takeaways here.
1. Mobilized enterprise content is about to enter prime time
22% of respondents identified mobility as a major strategic initiative or reported that they are already pursuing a mobile first strategy for their SharePoint/Office 365 deployments. But interestingly, a full two-thirds of respondents said mobile is increasingly important, while not yet a strategic initiative. This suggests that competition is about to heat up: the first movers have acted and are already locking in their competitive advantage, with the bulk of companies set to follow.
2. Across industries, key requirements for a mobile content management solution are the same
Regardless of their sector or role, our respondents identified three clear winners when it came to the capabilities they considered critical in taking SharePoint content mobile:
- Working offline in locations with limited connectivity (identified by 65%)
On-the-go employees move in and out of mobile reception range. Some, like flight crews or underground construction teams, may be without connectivity for hours at a time. Caching content for offline use lets users access data without delay. They also expect changes they made to be synched automatically once they’re back online.
- Deploying documents in a controlled way (identified by 56%)
When employees need very specific information to do their jobs – say, the work instruction for repairing a specific piece of equipment at a customer site – they don’t want to spend time searching for the correct file. Pushing the right content to the right people is critical for efficiency, and tracking business level usage is key. Managers often need to know who on their team got pushed the document, and whether they opened it.
- Applying and editing metadata (identified by 51%)
Adding metadata to content improves findability and enables users to retrieve information quickly. But the real advantage comes when you go beyond file level data and get down to business level metadata. Let’s say a foreman needs to read their team’s current work orders. File level information won’t help, but if the files are tagged with “work order date” they can be stored in one place and effortlessly surfaced in a SharePoint view.
3. Mobilization will have an impact across the enterprise
Mobilizing content has the potential to transform almost any role in any business. And our respondents recognized this, identifying many different roles and teams that were priorities for mobilization. Information workers were the most commonly identified (49%), with other common responses including: field technicians & engineers (45%), distributed sales teams (44%) and professional consultants (35%).
The attendees at ESPC were clearly tuned into the coming wave of mobilization, with many already taking steps to transform their own enterprises. At Colligo, we see clear benefits in leveraging your existing SharePoint investment for this purpose – saving you time and effort compared to the alternative of implementing a new system. You might enjoy reading via the link below how one of our customers – Benco Dental – increased productivity of their field service personnel by 15% by taking their SharePoint content mobile.