There is a huge amount of interest at the moment in enabling greater access to company data and capitalizing on intranet investments. Making best use of cloud technologies in conjunction with supporting a diverse range of devices is key to this goal
With the new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stating that the focus for the company will be 'Mobile First, Cloud First,' it shows that using Cloud and Mobile technologies is no longer earlier adopter territory. As a sign of this more than 50% of Microsoft's customers are already 'on the road' to the Cloud.
Sharing knowledge and information, as well as supporting business critical workflows, are fundamental to the success of business intranets. Increasingly we are seeing that Enterprise Social Networking tools are bringing significant benefits to a wide range of clients. Work is no longer a place that you go, it is something that you do; wherever you happen to be and with whatever device you have to hand. Unlocking the power of this working approach can bring huge benefits to an agile and mobile workforce, permitting more time face-to-face with colleagues and customers, without being tied to the desktop or laptop to get at your information.
There are now more than 1 Billion smartphones worldwide, which is 4 years ahead of original industry predictions. Corporate tablet device usage is expected to increase by 50% year on year in 2014. New software tools such as Office 365 are a new yet familiar way of enabling easier, faster, simpler and cheaper access to tools and data previously locked away in on-premises systems. The basic employee utility tools of expenses, timesheets and leave requests can all now be accessible from the Cloud and via any device.
Responsive designs, which change the view of a webpage by device type ensure a higher quality user experience than simply rendering the intranet page designed for a desktop, but it’s not ideal. Native mobile app access to intranets, as Unily provides, takes the access to the next level by making the most of device and system capabilities. Unily has Apps for Android (Google), iOS (Apple) and Microsoft mobile that means that staff that do not have access to a laptop or desktop machine can still get access to corporate news, messaging, social tools and data easier than ever before. Meaning that your intranet remains accessible to parts of the workforce that previously had sporadic access.
Typical use case for exercising the benefits of the combined cloud and social tools is for senior management staff who spend a large proportion of their time talking to customers and partners away from their teams. With this technology in place, it is quick and simple to create discussion groups where the manager can ask quick questions to a specific team of experts, and get vital answers whilst still with the clients, with the minimum of effort, giving customers instantaneous access to your organisation’s expertise.
Naturally as with any new technologies and methodologies, there are risks and pitfalls that will need to be mitigated. We have found that with the right advice and guidance, businesses can migrate to the Cloud in a short space of time and enhance the quality of the data en route. Providing a richer user experience, which makes the best use of inbuilt functionality, especially search, helping your users get to the information they need quickly and easily.
The capabilities of the best cloud based intranet solutions are numerous and its positive influence on user adoption is very important to achieving the all-important ROI metrics from your investment. Unily’s Software-as-a-Service license models also make it easier to roll out smaller, divisional focused intranets, rapidly which can be scaled and customised going forward as needed.
Glen Chambers 3 Oct
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