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Yesterday Microsoft held an event entitled "The Future of SharePoint" in which they unveiled a new cloud and mobile focused vision for SharePoint. Let's briefly discuss some of the announcements and what impact they may have on SharePoint records management.
This will allow instant access to files from anywhere and intelligent discovery for all of your files. Also, users will be able to collaborate and co-author documents in real time, compare versions and update metadata without leaving the Office application.
The following features will be out this quarter:
Additionally, these features will be available by the end of 2016:
From a SharePoint records management standpoint, these features will allow your users to access SharePoint in new and convenient ways. Overall, that is a positive but the same precautions and processes must remain in place to ensure proper compliance. This especially includes your organization's BYOD policy and how that may affect your SharePoint environment.
SharePoint will now make your intranet more accessible, more intelligent and more personalized. Microsoft is introducing the SharePoint mobile app for Windows, Android and iOS with full-fidelity access to company news, people, sites (including your on-premises sites), content and apps.
There will also be a new SharePoint home page in Office 365 rolling out this month. This will allow unified access to all of your sites, both online and on-premises.
Here’s what you can expect to see starting this quarter:
And during calendar year 2016:
Similar to the features above, SharePoint is allowing more access in addition to a more unified experience. The mobile app is a particularly big step as many have been asking for a SharePoint app for quite a while. As we've discussed in a previous post, it is critical to balance the needs of your users with that of the organization's policies. So while all of these new features are exciting, it is critical to take a proactive approach and establish clear guidelines for users of all levels.
In the third quarter of 2016, you will see:
And by the end of 2016, Microsoft will deliver:
This framework shows Microsoft's willingness to embrace open-source and allows for a deeper level of customization throughout the SharePoint experience. From a SharePoint records management perspective, this can allow more customized apps, workflows and processes. One area of caution however, is that these need to be accounted for when considering the overall records management picture. As we know, records take many forms and must be properly accounted for every step of the way.
Dynamic conditional access policies in SharePoint that define access based on who you are, the app or device you're using and your network location is another feature announced yesterday.
Additionally, you can protect content with data loss protection (DLP) policies, in both Office 365 and SharePoint Server 2016. These can be set once and applied across your tenant and your on-premises farms.
A quick breakdown of the features surrounding security and compliance:
And by the end of 2016:
The conditional access is by far the most interesting part of this announcement. This feature will allow granular access control and help to prevent unauthorized access and potential compliance issues. From a records management standpoint, the more you can clearly define access, the better. We discussed this in our blog post breaking down SharePoint 2016 as well.
SharePoint continues to evolve and based on yesterday's announcements, there is a continued trend towards unified access, especially from a mobile perspective. While this is certainly a positive that will enhance collaboration and break down data silos, there are still some significant shortfalls when it comes to SharePoint records management.