Smart Information Asset Management for Project Managers on SharePoint

In the past few years, SharePoint adoption rates for medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 organizations has spiked. SharePoint 2010 provided a robust foundation for growth and there is no indication that the recent release of SharePoint 2013 will put an end to that. SharePoint is flourishing and with that, the volume of information assets stored in SharePoint are at an all-time high. It is understandable that information workers need some time after the deployment of SharePoint to adapt to this new technology. In some cases, modest success can be achieved by simply relocating the day-to-day data used by users and departments to SharePoint, but many things can be done to drive SharePoint adoption amongst the workforce.

SharePoint content becomes valuable to individuals, projects, departments, and the whole organization in different ways. However SharePoint content is typically accessed by users in a “pull” mode via browsers, so organizations can never guarantee that users are aware of the truly important content in SharePoint.

With the wealth of content spreading across multiple site collections in SharePoint, an effective solution is to “push” specific content directly to users, thus greatly improving content awareness and relevance for users, and productivity.

I will concentrate on the examples of two types of information workers found in most organizations.
– Mobile workforce (e.g. field sales staff)
– External/internal staff temporarily assigned to a project
These workers’ circumstances reveal tough challenges that most organizations will encounter and are therefore ideal for the purposes of this discussion.

Mobile Workforce
Mobile workforces regularly go to their office where there is ready access to all information assets, but then spend the rest of their time visiting prospects or clients, usually offline with a laptop or tablet. I have worked with many clients, partners, and consultants coming up with elegant ways to make important information assets available to these mobile users while offline since the value can be huge.

Organizations are faced with considerable IT challenges to provide their mobile workers with the content they need at hand when they need it. As discussed, pushing content to mobile devices is important to ensure user awareness, but that’s just one part of the bigger mobile SharePoint picture. Each user should only be able to access content that is appropriate to their role, so access permissions to sites, libraries etc. need to be managed. Enterprises also need a variety of controls so mobilized content doesn’t translate into legal, IP, or liability risks. Given that the number of devices can be huge, a centralized administration is ideal and probably the only practical solution.

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