By Michael Snow on Aug 02, 2013
Guest post by Richard Maldonado, Principal Product Manager, Oracle WebCenter Portal
Organizations are still struggling to standardize on a user interaction platform which can meet the needs of all their target audiences. This has not only resulted in inefficient and inconsistent experiences for their users, but it also creates inefficiencies (productivity and costs) for the departments that manage the applications and information systems. Portals have historically been the unifying platform that provide IT with a common interface which can securely surface the most relevant interactions for a given user and/or group of users. However, organizations have found that the technologies available have either not provided the flexibility necessary to address all of their use cases, or they rely too much on IT resources to manage, maintain, and evolve.
Empowering the Business Groups
The core issue that IT departments face with delivering portal experiences is having enough resources to respond and address the influx of requirements which come in from the business. Commonly, when a business group wants a new portal site established for their group, they will submit a request to the IT dept, the IT dept then assigns a resource to an administrator and/or developer to build. Unfortunately, this approach is not scalable, it can be a time consuming activity which requires significant interaction between the business owner and the IT resource. A modern user interaction platforms should empower the business groups by providing them tools which they can use to build and manage the portal experiences without the need for IT's involvement. And because business groups rarely have technical resources (developers) on staff, the tools must be easy enough that virtually any business user could use. In addition, the tool must be powerful enough to allow them to build the experience that they need, things such as creating a whole new portal, add/manage page and page hierarchy, manage user/group access, add/modify components within the page, etc. This balance between ease-of-use and flexibility is key to the successful adoption of tools which will ultimately reduce the burden on IT, respond to the needs of the business, and deliver high-value experiences for the users.
Ready or Not, Here They Come: Smartphones and Tablets
Recently, several studies have highlighted that smartphone and tablet-style devices have overtaken PC's in both sales and usage. This shift is further driving organizations to revaluate how they're delivering data, information, and applications to their users. Users are expecting to get the same level of access and interaction, but in a ways which are optimized for the capabilities of the device that they are using.
With the ever growing number of new IT projects and flat/shrinking budgets, organizations are looking for comprehensive solutions which can deliver integrated web experiences that are tailored for the users and optimized for mobile devices. Piecing together a number of point solutions is no longer an option. A modern portal technology should not only address the traditional needs of integrating and surfacing back-end applications/information, but it should enable the business through easy-to-use tools and accelerate the delivery of mobile optimized experiences.
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