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When Intranets and SharePoint Aren’t Mobile-Ready, Users Fall Back on Email

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Enterprises have invested heavily in SharePoint and intranets, but in too many organizations these services are not ready to support mobile users. As a result, mobile workers are falling back on email for sharing and transferring files.

That’s one of the revelations found in a recent survey of U.S. workers by theCOMMSapp, a New York-based technology company. The survey found that SharePoint and intranets remain inaccessible to many mobile workers:

“82% of those with corporate Intranets said they either have never tried to access this channel via their mobile device or have a difficult time doing so. Similarly, with regard to social collaboration networks, 78% of those who have such networks have either never tried to access them or have a difficult time doing so via the mobile device.”

The same survey found that 96% of employees had mobile devices, 58% had purchased mobile devices themselves, and of those, 66% used them for work. Across industries, workers are increasingly mobile: only about half still spend 75% or more of their time at their desks.

If these mobile workers are not connecting to intranets or social collaboration networks for data, how are they getting the files and other information they need for their everyday work? Mostly through email. The survey found that employees prefer email as a way of learning company news, but employees are receiving so much email, important messages are being overlooked.

Overlooking a message with important files is just one of the risks of relying on email. Relying on email for file-sharing poses other risks, as well, including security risks. Email undermines the access controls configured in SharePoint and other ECMs to limit access to data to authorized users. And accidents happen: employees sometimes accidentally forward emails with confidential data to unauthorized users. IT administrators and compliance officers often have difficulty tracking the distribution of files through email, especially when users working remotely use personal email accounts such as Gmail.

Email is likely to remain an important communication channel for businesses—and that’s fine. But enterprises need to extend their intranets, SharePoint, and other Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems to be more readily available to their increasingly mobile workforce, while at the same time improving the efficiency and security of file sharing and collaboration with external users.

At Accellion we're helping enterprise organizations extend their investments in SharePoint, intranets and other ECM systems to embrace mobile users.  Our mobile file sharing solution, called kiteworks, enables mobile workers to securely access and share files directly from SharePoint and other ECMs on their preferred mobile device. Think of it as a universal secure connection to enterprise content, from any mobile device.  

So if you want to avoid having users reverting back to email for sharing files, there is an easy way to extend SharePoint and intranets to your mobile users - and it's called kiteworks.  

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