Leveraging K2 Business Apps for Sharepoint

October 6, 2015
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For many businesses, there’s a familiar refrain. They know they need a large amount of data, but collecting that information and ensuring it gets into the right hands is a consistent challenge.

SharePoint is often the main storage area for documents and forms, but it doesn’t contain data from various business units where information is likely siloed within other systems. The modern company needs applications that can pull data from many different sources and then integrate it into a more usable form within SharePoint.

For many businesses, there’s a familiar refrain. They know they need a large amount of data, but collecting that information and ensuring it gets into the right hands is a consistent challenge.

SharePoint is often the main storage area for documents and forms, but it doesn’t contain data from various business units where information is likely siloed within other systems. The modern company needs applications that can pull data from many different sources and then integrate it into a more usable form within SharePoint.

One such tool is offered by K2 (www.k2.com), which features a cloud-based platform called Appit that allows users to easily build apps for SharePoint. Creating applications that can effectively combine data sources requires technical expertise and investment in IT to develop, design, and maintain those apps over the longer term. K2’s platform excels at SharePoint app development for several reasons. These attributes can form a “what to look for” list when searching for a qualified third-party application vendor: 

Leverage Simple Tools

Involving business users in the application creation process is a recommended way to ensure the applications perform meaningful actions. Vendors such as K2 offer easy-to-use tools that are accessible to both technical and non-technical users. The platform should also be sophisticated enough to avoid “reinventing the wheel”, for example as connections to lines of business systems are built for one app or form, this setup can be duplicated for other solutions.

Integration Across Multiple Lines of Business

Building and maintaining apps should not be solely an IT task. Therefore, you need a flexible platform that can work with SharePoint to allow users to build their own apps, forms, and workflows. Non-technical users should be able to create such content from multiple sites and libraries and by pulling in data from other lines of business.

Enable “Super Users”

As SharePoint adoption grows, there are more “super users” that do not have a deep technical background but can still build business apps for SharePoint. A platform that sets free such users is desirable as it can free IT resources, but there still needs to be some control measures in place.

Security (as Always) is Critical

An app that brings uniformity and cost savings is worthless without strong security. The app platform should allow a business to maintain existing security protocols without restricting access to needed data. Beware of third-party solutions that are storing sensitive data within apps. While the app might be password protected, the data and the login credentials are both stored within the app, which creates a significant security risk. Instead, chose a solution that offers connections to your line of business systems from the app, so you can rely on your current security measures and restrict user’s data access.

Interfaces for Any Device

Adoption of a new SharePoint application will only grow if it features an easy-to-use interface. Work with a vendor that makes interfaces which can work seamlessly on any device.

Advanced SharePoint app platforms such as K2 enable companies to manage their short-term needs such as improving workflows and documents, as well as build apps that go across multiple systems. Choosing such a platform will result in long-term money savings and more flexibility as the business changes over time.

To learn more about K2 business apps for SharePoint talk to a TechBlocks expert today.