It’s any consultant’s job to build or recommend solutions that are extensible and compatible with future releases and evolving technology. While it’s not always black and white, some of the publicized information regarding SharePoint 2016 has me more confident than ever that the intranet of the future is already here. If you Google SharePoint 2016 you’ll find at least one article with the word ‘Hybrid’ in the title. Microsoft appears (rightfully so) to be pushing to make hybrid deployments easier and 2016 will provide an improved experience. I won’t go into the details since there are a million articles available already, but this does help shed some light on the intranet of the future.
The intranet of the future is going to need to surface information to users in a nicely branded UI but more importantly, it’s going to need to surface information from many different locations. Think about where your data is stored. It’s likely on OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, SharePoint 2010/2013 on premise, and/or other line of business applications. Microsoft realizes that data is diverse and while it would be great if you could pool all of your data into one application, it’s not very likely you can accomplish all of your business needs with one solution. This all points back to search-based architecture.
Why search-based architecture? Well it’s quite simple. SharePoint search allows you to crawl lots of different sources including on premise sources. You can easily leverage managed navigation and content search web parts to render information from all of those sources on one intranet page. We are already surfacing information from multiple sources and SharePoint 2016 is only going to make that easier.
So if you are thinking about designing a new intranet or upgrading your current one I strongly recommend you take a minute and review search based architecture.
Also, if you meet one of the following conditions, you should contact me right away!
- Your staff complains that they can’t remember which of the 6+ applications they should go to in order to find what they are looking for
- You set multiple tabs in group policy to default to each of your line of business applications
- You refuse to store some or all of your data in the cloud but would love to leverage some of the fancy Office 365 features such as Delve
- You want a more unified experience for your users but can’t reduce the number of applications your staff uses
- Your current ‘intranet’ is a bunch of links to business apps
- You aren’t currently using a search based intranet
- You just want to learn more about search based intranets
- You are a Detroit Lions fan and want to vent
I look forward to hearing from you!
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