The internet is apparently much interested in the future of SharePoint, which includes the direction that Microsoft is taking it, SharePoint’s improving customizability, and potential upgrades. A year ago, Microsoft unveiled SharePoint Server 2016 and briefly explained their roadmap for the beloved platform. And not too long ago at Microsoft’s Ignite event, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for SharePoint, Jeff Teper announced the impending release of SharePoint Server 2019 by the end of 2018.
All in all, the progress of SharePoint seems like it’ll revitalize the SharePoint development sector. The trends will certainly trigger an evolution of SharePoint development services, but what of the future of the platform?
The future still looks bright
The SharePoint platform (SharePoint Online through Office 365) has started earning more users over the users. Thanks for a major part to the ever-expanding community, more than 60% instances of SharePoint instances are online now. In parallel to the growth of the cloud, SharePoint also saw its usage grow by 90% – a testament to the value customers can get with SharePoint and the cloud combined.
As a matter of fact, it’s because of cloud computing that Microsoft now rolls out updates regularly for SharePoint. The Microsoft Virtual Summit event announced further enhancements to the platform that’d open new doors to improving productivity in organizations, and possibly catapult SharePoint to one of the best ever Microsoft technology solutions the world has known.
SharePoint communication sites
The SharePoint communication sites will be leading the platform to its bright future by providing users with a dedicated site to display their content in a much more modern way. Essentially, it aims to deliver mobile-ready intranet right out of the box.
Communication sites also allow users to share messages, and communicate with anyone across the organization it’s used for. Authenticated users with access to SharePoint mobile would be able to see any news published on a communication site. And as a bonus, communication sites would look good in any device be it tablet, desktop or mobile.
A while back, developers needed serious expertise, skill, and time to build new sites. But now, with the drag-and-drop feature, building sites are much easier. The default web parts can be easily configured to fit in well the organization and its needs. The focus is apparently on communication, and knowledge sharing with a visual appeal. This brings us to the most vital form of communication – email.
What of email?
SharePoint communication sites ease document sharing among colleagues in an organization, which in turn facilitates great collaboration. But what of the tools that actually enable this collaboration?
The platform is getting a lot of improvements, including a mobile app. But there weren’t much improvements when it comes to email. Emails are technically documents as well, used to arrange meetings and for business communication. But to check them, users will have to browse through the Exchange inbox, and not SharePoint itself.
While Microsoft’s focusing on improving collaboration with SharePoint, users still have to access two different locations for information – the Exchange inbox and SharePoint. This is so far the only counterproductive point in SharePoint’s path towards mainstream growth.
Hopefully, the tech giant will address the concern next year, and make SharePoint truly capable of making a difference in various sectors including intranet software development.
SharePoint Online makes self-service easier enabling users to create experiences drawing more to the platform. Microsoft’s already rolled out updates that provide modern interfaces to list management, site navigation etc. This drive to deliver better experience is creating a sort of excitement over the prospects of SharePoint in the coming days.
Decision-makers and executives who are likely to invest in workflow stories and team sites will have to focus on empowering users and delivering great experiences as well. This is where SharePoint will able to deliver the highest ROI.