Webinar video: The future of Office 365 and SharePoint intranets


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We covered the latest announcements made at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas in May 2019 and recent developments on the Office 365 roadmap, highlighting things that intranet and digital workplace managers should be aware of:

  • A round up of the headlines on SharePoint, Teams, Yammer and OneDrive
  • New SharePoint Home sites
  • Improvements to search
  • Audience targeting and personalization in communication sites
  • Yammer improvements and SharePoint integration
  • Where you should change tactics in your current use of SharePoint and Teams
  • Implications for build vs buy and the SharePoint intranet in-a-box market.

The intelligent workplace podcast from LiveTiles

We are excited to share with you that our partner LiveTiles has launched a new podcast series on The Intelligent Workplace.

In this new series Chris will speak with industry experts, exploring the new ideas and technologies that are shaping the modern workplace, and how it will transform our working lives.

How a great digital workplace helps reduce Shadow IT

The easy availability and deployment of powerful collaboration and productivity tools, usually based in the cloud, has allowed us to start to develop incredible digital workplaces that are only going to get better.

But the proliferation of tools also comes with its own risks. Because individuals, teams and divisions can now deploy these applications with no involvement from the IT function, it means that unapproved or unauthorised software is sometimes being used for work purposes. Because individuals may be using  some of these tools already  in their life outside work, the decision to use them in the workplace feels natural.

This unapproved use of tech often called Shadow IT is a common problem.  How should digital teams help to tackle the risks?

What are the risks of Shadow IT?

Often the use of Shadow IT  is perfectly understandable. Employees need to get things done and want to use the best tools possible,  but it does present a risk for several reasons:

  • Applications used may not have the right level of security to meet enterprise needs. Tools designed for consumers with sensitive data in them may present more of a risk for critical data breaches.
  • Information and content stored in cloud-based systems may still be left after an employee leaves a company, and it may never be removed.  This means there may be sensitive data stored in the cloud which organisations have no awareness of and no ability to control.
  • Applications outside the scope of IT may not have important information policies applied to them for example relating to password formats or GDPR. Again, this makes organizations vulnerable to data breaches.
  • Too many alternative systems can limit the use, adoption and value of fully-approved systems. For example, it might be hard to push Microsoft Teams when everybody is using Slack.
  • Use of alternative systems will not feature in any enterprise search efforts.

Why do employees use Shadow IT?

Reducing the levels of Shadow IT isnt always straightforward. In practical terms, its very difficult  to completely prevent an employee using an unapproved application if they  have their mind set on it. IT departments also have little clout to be able to tell employees to stop.

The most sensible and sustainable approach is to try and positively influence employee behaviour so they stop using Shadow IT because they understand the risks and can find an official tool in the digital workplace that meets their needs. This is challenging when your workforce is diverse and where you have an organisational culture where employees dont like being told what to do.

To try and work out the best way to positively influence the behaviour of employees we need to understand why employees use Shadow IT.  Typical reasons include:

  • Employees cant easily access particular services, content or documents on a mobile device or outside the company network, so they resort to alternative approaches.
  • Employees cant access tools to collaborate easily with team members or externally outside the company.
  • Processes to install an application take too long or are too complex and its easier for employees to act themselves.
  • Individuals or teams are particularly keen on using a specific application, but it is not offered by the company.
  • Employees want to try or use a new application or type of application to meet an emerging need, but it is not yet part of an official digital workplace.
  • People are simply not aware that use of application is not allowed or discouraged.
  • Employees needed to get something done urgently and the best resolution of the task was through using an application or service not offered by the digital workplace.
  • Local offices or recently acquired companies use legacy or different systems where the extent of central IT governance is unclear.
  • The use experience of the official digital experience is so poor -such as slow loading pages or confusing interfaces they use alternative solutions.

Why a strong digital workplace is the best approach to tackle Shadow IT

Employees predominantly turn to Shadow IT when the existing digital workplace doesnt offer them a better or more viable alternative, or they are not aware that it does.  Therefore, the best approach to tackling shadow IT is to offer a compelling digital workplace wrapped around a strong employee experience, that provides the tools that allows users to:

  • Get things done easily and quickly.
  • Find what they need.
  • Communicate and collaborate with employees and even externally.
  • Work at any time, from anywhere and from any device.
  • Meet emerging needs.

A great digital workplace not only reduces the need for employees to use alternative solutions but also provides a solid reason for why employees shouldnt be using a particular tool. Its very difficult to tell an employee not to use an application if there isnt a viable alternative provided.

Approaches to consider

If you are setting up a digital workplace, and one of its aims it to reduce Shadow IT, here are some approaches to consider:

Establish robust and clear governance

At the centre of a successful digital workplace is robust governance. Having clear rules about what IT is authorised and why, is essential for tackling Shadow IT. If there isnt clarity about what is unauthorised it is very difficult to tackle the problem.  Governance is a huge topic in itself and covers various different factors such as data security, GDPR, branding, compatibility, value, cost, ability to provide effective support and more.

Based on your governance structure then appropriate measures need to be put in place, for example locking down some tools and making others available. At the same time robust governance also needs to not be so stringent that it limits employees abilities to be perform their role, be creative or innovate.

Drive adoption of particular tools with guidance and support

Reducing Shadow IT is all about driving adoption of preferred, official tools. There are many ways to do this including providing guidance and support, particularly through peers and champions networks, but also encouraging and highlighting use through integration with your intranet. This is a successful approach we often see with our Wizdom customers who wish to encourage use of Office 365 tools.

Drive awareness of cyber risks

Employees need to be aware of the risks of Shadow IT. Looking at the very real threat of cyber security risks and how unauthorised applications and associated user behaviour (such as poor password management) contribute to these risks is a good starting point. Get a member of your senior management team involved to emphasise the importance of your message.

Give people choice of tools

People like to work in different ways and use a range of applications. They also have different needs where the capabilities of one tool might suit one use case, but not be so good for another. Giving people some choice over the tools they use means you can satisfy both need and preferences of users. In the digital workplace one solution does definitely not fit all.

Keep an eye on emerging tech and emerging needs

Organisations and digital workplaces are in a state of constant flux. Keeping an eye on the emerging tech which could be used in your organisation, as well as the emerging needs which might need a solution to be in place, can help to reduce Shadow IT.

Work with innovators and early adopters

There are groups of people who love to try out new tech and innovate. By actually engaging with this group and encouraging them to experiment with technology, you can help to satisfy their desire to play with the latest cool applications in a less risky way.  If youre keeping an eye on emerging tech then you can use your innovators to help define the pipeline of apps which you need to introduce into your digital workplace.

Reduce the need for Shadow IT!

Shadow IT is risk for all organisations, but it is best tackled by providing a strong digital workplace and toolset. If employees have a strong experience of workplace technology and can achieve all they need to do they are far less likely to turn to alternative solutions. Digital workplace teams can then build upon this to highlight the risks of using other systems and drive awareness of using the right tools.  You can also use some of the other approaches mentioned in this article to reduce your risks.

Do you have questions on how Wizdom can help you reduce shadow IT?

You are welcome to request a product demo, where one of our digital workplace specialists can give you an in depth run down on the Wizdom solution.


The original article was published here

How Wizdom Help & Training portal can make your life as an intranet owner easier

If your work includes being responsible for the intranet in your organization, you most likely are a trained multitasker with a myriad of tasks to look after. Delivering relevant corporate news, communicating internal campaigns, announcing and managing company events, providing proper tools and spaces for collaboration, ensuring compliance, keeping content relevant and up to date, managing digital workflows, offering relevant digital tools and fighting artificial robots. Well maybe not that last point, but you get the picture.

1. Help your editors and administrators understand SharePoint

SharePoint is a world of its own. Working with sites, pages, web parts, and content in SharePoint is something editors need to learn before they are ready to publish content. The Help & Training portal includes a section on this subject that introduces basic principles of SharePoint. Let your intranet editors follow tutorials to learn how to check in and out, create pages, and add and edit web parts. Let administrators dive into subjects like SharePoint search and navigation.

2. Stay up to date with your SharePoint knowledge

To call SharePoint ever evolving is probably an understatement. Not least with the latest release of SharePoints modern experiences theres a lot of new stuff you need to learn if youre working with an intranet based on this technology. Thats why weve made sure to always provide you guides on how editors and administrators can work with even the newest features of modern SharePoint. Trust us, we use the guides too.

3. Tutorials to all Wizdom functionality

Wizdom is a rich product that includes over 50 different modules for your intranet. Weve got everything! Even a module so you can see what your delightful canteen is serving up for lunch. This time around, we actually have a good canteen menu, which sometimes gives us vegetarian dishes and not just boiled cauliflowers. Back to intranets. Each module has its own function and configurations settings. In the Wizdom Help & Training portal you can find tutorials and video guides galore, introducing all the Wizdom modules and how users, editors, and admins can use and configure them for the optimal use on your intranet. And not mess up the entire system. You dont want to be giving Tom from management access to the internal communications. He might find out all the money youre spending on social media. Tom is old fashioned and doesnt believe in modern technology. Its all about the numbers with him.

4. Become Wizdom certified with on-demand training

Thats right, you can be Wizdom certified. Not only will you receive a certificate, you can also add the certification to your LinkedIn profile. Who doesnt love a certificate. We do! Now for the more interesting stuff. In the portal, you have exclusive access to our online on-demand courses providing intranet content creators, editors, and administrators convenient access to learning. The course material is covered in video as well as text and course participants can choose to complete a test to have a certification to feature internally or, as mentioned, pop it on their LinkedIn profile.

5. Get help & tips just for you working with a Wizdom intranet

It doesnt happen often, but sometimes it does … editors and administrators experiencing issues when working in Wizdom and SharePoint. Modern technology is great, but it doesnt always work. Glitches, artificial robots taking over the earth, power shortages and messy code just cant be stopped at times. Often you can find help in the Help & Training portal. Well, not for the robots, but for Wizdom product related queries, obviously. We write articles addressing common issues, helping you to solve them right there.

6. Keep updated about all new features coming to Wizdom

Every month there is a new release of Wizdom. We like to keep everything fresh and add all the bits suggested by our customers and partners. With Wizdom, Christmas comes every month. And with that comes a bunch of new features available for you as an intranet owner. Never miss a thing with our blog posts and videos highlighting what you can now offer users on your intranet.

7. On-demand resources to fully know your intranet platform

Its all there for you, when you need it, where you need it and especially when you dont think you need it. With the Help & Training portal, you can find help and inspiration to help you solve issues (not about robots taking over the earth, but weve already talked about that )and understand and develop your intranet at your own pace. And its all customized to you as the person responsible for the platform and with an intranet based on Wizdom.

Feel free to get in contact to learn more and see how we can help you optimize and streamline your intranet processes. Wed love to help with fighting the artificial robots and their push for world domination, but were a bit too friendly for that and would like to instead, offer them an intranet solution so their world conquering can remain nice and organized.

The original article was published here

Webinar: The future of Office 365 and SharePoint intranets

This month’s webinar is sure to be popular, and places are limited.

Register now

Fresh from speaking at the SharePoint Conference in Vegas, Sam Marshall of ClearBox Consulting will discuss the latest Office 365 announcements and recent developments on the SharePoint roadmap with Dan Hawtrey and Joe Perry of Content Formula.

They’ll highlight the things that intranet and digital workplace managers should be aware of:

  • A round up of the headlines on SharePoint, Teams, Yammer and OneDrive
  • New SharePoint Home sites
  • Improvements to search
  • Audience targeting and personalisation in communication sites
  • Yammer improvements and SharePoint integration
  • Where you should change tactics in your current use of SharePoint and Teams
  • Implications for build vs buy and the SharePoint intranet in-a-box market.
  • Sam, Dan, and Joe will take your questions throughout the webinar.

Places are limited, but we’ll send the webinar recording to everyone who registers.

An introduction to bots in the digital workplace

Dan Hawtrey of Content Formula talks to Nico de Jong of Live Tiles about enterprise bots.
Watch this 30 minute video to learn all about bots and how they fit into an intranet and digital workplace context. We also discuss how to go about running a bot project in your organisation and Nico talks a little about the Live Tile’s Bot builder platform and why it’s different.

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