SaaS solutions are easy to use, cost-effective, flexible and scalable. So, no wonder the market of SaaS is growing. According to a recent report by BetterCloud, 73% of all organizations say nearly all their digital tools will be SaaS by 2020. Under such circumstances, to stay competitive, SaaS platforms have to watch out for the latest trends.
SharePoint SaaS in 2019
Being in SharePoint consulting and implementation for 12 years, we have witnessed the growing popularity of SharePoint Online (SaaS) compared to the on-premises deployment. In our work, we always try to keep track of SharePoint Online trends and apply them in our projects. It helps us to stay competitive with other SaaS vendors. So, we’ve made a list of the main trends of SharePoint as a SaaS to keep up with in 2019.
The mobile-first approach will prevail in implementing SharePoint Online solutions like intranets, DMS, LMS in 2019. And a mobile version will become a must-have built-in feature. As a result, this approach will help to reduce costs for desktop plus mobile implementation of SharePoint solutions.
In 2019, a strong focus will be on SharePoint SaaS branding. Unique branding of a cloud corporate portal or intranet helps to promote a company’s image, products and values, and makes a company stand out and attract users. And SharePoint Online has a rich toolset to make solutions appealing to customers, their partners and vendors. The platform’s extensive customization capabilities allow tailoring a color scheme, navigation tools, a logo, and other design elements to a company’s brand. What’s more, in branded SharePoint solutions the platform won’t be recognizable, which is now one of the most common customers’ requests.
A general SaaS trend of integrating digital tools as closely together as possible will be also relevant for SharePoint. Strengthening integration processes across digital workplaces helps to increase employee productivity. For example, integration of SharePoint with Microsoft Teams is very common now as it provides employees with a collaboration space together with a chat client.
Also, SharePoint integrates with many other Microsoft and third-party tools and systems (CRM, ERP, LMS, BI, etc.), which helps eliminate the silo approach at companies. Thus, companies that decide to move to SharePoint Online don’t have to worry that familiar tools they got used to won’t work with introduction of SharePoint into a company’s digital environment and existing infrastructure.
The trend towards improving and modernizing SharePoint Online that started in 2018 (e.g. new pages for lists and libraries, new look and feel) will continue into 2019. New web parts are created to improve employee experience. For example, such web parts as My Recent Documents and My Frequent Sites offer personalized employee experience, simplify access to relevant information and increase employee performance.
The share of AI technology and machine learning in SharePoint SaaS will increase this year. The platform already widely uses AI elements like cognitive analysis of texts for sentiment, key phrases, translation or moderation and recognizing images for auto-tagging. To improve collaboration and customer service, bots will be actively used in SharePoint Online intranets and portals.
AI allows improving search and regulatory compliance, which are the key features of SharePoint solutions for big enterprises and regulated industries. For example, AI can automatically detect and eliminate security threats in SharePoint and by imposing automated restrictions make sure users view, use and share files in accordance with internal and external compliance regulations.
Watch out for the trends
Keeping an eye on SharePoint SaaS trends will help you to be always aware of new capabilities of the cloud platform. We hope the trends we described will help you shape your vision upon your future solution, its value, and decide upon a list of its must-have features. If you already use the cloud deployment of SharePoint, trends can give you hints how to improve your solution’s functionality (e.g., search) and increase user adoption.