Yesterday I wrote about the four cautionary points on the Future of SharePoint that myself and our team of SharePoint experts feel are noteworthy. Getting that I aside, I am pleased to write in a more positive tone, on the five ways that SharePoint 2016 will improve the workplace.
1. Its all about Mobile
In an era of go-go-go work cultures mobility is key. Apps that provide a seamless experience and have the same usability on-the-go as, at-your-desk, will make all the difference. With the launch of the SharePoint mobile app, users can now access and edit content on their phones. I am sure we will see productivity soar as we can make the most of times in transit. I love that Microsoft is committing to develop the app for the most popular platforms, namely iOS and Android.
2. Team Sites and Groups
Microsoft has made a huge investment in Office 365 groups. These changes are going to be revolutionary in the way we collaborate and create in Team Sites and Groups. For a couple of years many people were wondering if the Team Site was dying. It's now back with a vengeance and backed by the powerful capabilities that Groups has to offer. It's going to be a big, big change for many organizations moving from On-Premise SharePoint to Office 365!
3. Machine Learning and Office Graph
As previously mentioned, Microsoft has made a huge investment in machine learning technology which is being implemented into Office Graph. There will be a huge push in making sure users will have an easier time finding the content they need. Predictive algorithms will help feed up content that the user needs to see, as and when they need it. Great for all organizations, this will be particularly revolutionary for large organizations who struggle with sharing knowledge across time zones and seas.
4. Emphasis on OneDrive
SharePoint and Office 365 users can readily agree that the product suite is a beast of a machine. There are so many different combinations of ways to complete activities, making organization and consistency difficult. Recognizing this, Microsoft has shifted focus to making OneDrive the central portal for document management. Users now have the ability to start documents in OneDrive and move them anywhere else on their SharePoint site for easier organization. This might be the beginning of a true cloud environment where all documents live in the cloud. For me, the bigger change will be using the sharing features to share documents, instead of emailing them!
5. User Experience is Paramount
Moving from a static, list-based interface, SharePoint 2016 is moving to a much more aesthetically pleasing layout. UX is now tile-based with images and key headings. Drag and drop functionality makes it easy to reorganize documents and change metadata. This is very new for Microsoft products that have always taken a very linear fashion. It will be interesting to see how certain demographics take to this new look (we personally love it!). If you have been using a static file share for the last 20 years then all these new features will be a shock. None-the-less, they will result in revolutionary ways of working and increased productivity.