Mobile Intranet: Why SharePoint needs to have a good mobile user

Azurati is delighted to have Mark Morrell, a leading independent expert on Intranet design and governance to share his thoughts on providing Intranet access to mobile users and why Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is the ideal corporate intranet platform.

Why SharePoint 2010 needs to have a good mobile user

Why is SharePoint 2010 so widely used?  I believe it is because it offers for the first time one technical solution that meets many business needs rather than just one.  If you want to improve knowledge sharing you will have many tools to consider.  Again if you need to manage your documents you will have a wide choice of vendors.

But if your business has more than one need or can see how solving one will create other requirements then a solution like SharePoint 2010 comes become more attractive to consider.

But what if your organisation needs employees to use your intranet while away from their place of work?  There are huge savings in office costs and increases in productivity if employees can use the intranet to help them with their work while they are mobile.

Before we can consider if SharePoint 2010 can help meet these needs and provide these benefits there are other important steps to take first.

Mobile strategy

Why is your organisation considering mobile access to your intranet?  You need to develop a strategy aligned to your overall business strategy that sets out how providing this need will help to improve the performance.  Without a clear, agreed, mobile strategy in place there is little chance of creating a successful business case for a solution that can help employees.  You need to research which content and tools are most needed while employees are mobile.

Mobile champion

Who should be responsible for sponsoring the implementation of your mobile strategy?  You need to find a senior representative who will champion this or, better still, a board or steering group of senior representatives from business functions across your organisation.  Make sure the role is clear, and you have the authority to make the decisions needed, supported by funding.

Mobile audience

Who needs to use a mobile device for their work?  You need to be clear which employees will benefit from having a mobile device.  It probably will not be everyone.  Even if it is, you will have to prioritise who has the greatest need.  Factors like the number of employees involved, time spent away from their place of work, what contribution they can make, will help decide the greatest need.

Mobile governance

As well as having a champion for the use of mobile devices your governance framework needs to include the standards for owners of content and tools to follow so mobile devices can be used by employees.  Roles and responsibilities need to include meeting the needs of mobile users for content and tool owners.  The content and tools must not be a complete duplication of what exists already.

Mobile devices

Will you let employees bring their own devices to work or will you provide your own?  That decision is critical and will depend on your organisation’s corporate values, type of employees, security (more below on this), funding and speed of adoption.  Once that decision is made you can then focus on what devices your organisation provides or you recommend employees have that offer the best experience for what they need to do while mobile.

Mobile security

How can you be sure the right people only are using your intranet?  It is vital you have a representative from your Legal team involved as well as from IT.  You need to find the right balance of secure but easy access.  It is no good if it takes ages to authenticate who you are before employee can access your intranet.  But you do need some intelligent software working in the background to ensure you know who is accessing content with a mobile device.

Mobile platform

As I said at the beginning most organisations are either considering using SharePoint 2010 or are in various stages of rolling out to meet their needs.  One of these is increasingly the need to provide content and tools that is needed by employees while mobile.

The problem with SharePoint 2010 is the ‘out of the box’ experience can be a bit underwhelming.  It is a text only version which most mobile users of internet sites will feel is like going back in time.  It may be improved by the next release of SharePoint but can your organisation afford to wait that long?

About Mark Morrell

Mark Morrell is an intranet pioneer combining strategic thinking with implementation skills.  Since 1996, he has developed intranet strategies with first-hand practical experience of implementing major technology and change projects.  As the former BT Intranet Manager, he helped to transform BT’s intranet into one of the best global examples for governance, engagement and collaboration. Mark is an expert in SharePoint and can share his knowledge and experience of the digital workplace and other intranet topics. Mark has established his consultancy Mark Morrell Ltd to help major organisations with their intranet strategy, governance, standards and use of collaboration tools.

Phone: +44 (0) 771 338 5309




For a free trial of Azurati’s cross-platform mobile SharePoint solution, SharePoint2Go, visit





Twitter: @markmorrell


25% of businesses rate mobility as their top priority in 2012, according to Frost & Sullivan

Research and consulting firm, Frost and Sullivan, recently surveyed 204 C-level business and IT executives about Enterprise Mobility.  The survey found that a majority of businesses are in favour of a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, with 61% supporting BYOD and the use of personal devices to access corporate systems and information.  The study showed that within this group, 34% of businesses allow BYOD for all employees and offer full support for all devices, with another 27% allowing BYOD for specific departments.

In the report, enterprise mobility ranks high in terms of priority compared to other IT investments.  More than 25% of companies surveyed rated enteprise mobility projects as either their top priority or a very important priority for 2012.

New mobile devices are emerging at such a pace that many companies have struggled to keep pace with the variety of platforms, devices and form factors; meaning that in many cases, personally owned smartphones and tablets are newer and better than devices issued by employers.

“Allowing employees to use a device of their choice to work through supporting a BYOD strategy is advantageous for organisations with benefits such as increased productivity, greater employee retention (achieved through enhanced job satisfaction) and cost savings through lower capital and operating costs. However, security risks are a concern for many organisations in supporting BYOD”, says Audrey Williams of Frost & Sullivan.

56% of the businesses who responded to the Frost & Sullivan survey cited security concerns as being their number one concern with adopting a BYOD and enterprise mobility strategy; while 59% of businesses cite document and content management as being the most important tools to aide mobile productivity.

This is clearly good news for emerging enterprise mobility solution providers, like Azurati, who will be releasing a new secure mobile SharePoint solution, called SharePoint2Go at the end of May that aims to give mobile staff office-level productivity when working on smartphones and tablets.

Azurati has listened to the concerns of customers and leading independent experts, like Frost & Sullivan and other analyst organisations, and has built enterprise security features into the DNA of its enterprise mobility solutions, like two-factor authentication, single sign-on to multiple SharePoint sites, 256-bit encryption and a zero footprint policy, meaning that nothing is left on the device so that information security will not be compromised in the event that the mobile device is lost or misplaced.

To understand more about how Azurati can help you achieve secure multi-device access to core enterprise systems, like Microsoft SharePoint, visit