VLog: Top 10 Challenges with Situational Apps (Part 1)

In 2014, management consultant, Ian Tomlin, laid-out the case for and against Situational Applications in the businesses from a strategic perspective. It is a great read that makes plain the long history of situational applications in enterprise use with warts and all.
Best of all, he highlights the Top 10 challenges that businesses face when adopting a Situational Application approach. In practice, Situational Applications are rarely planned. They grow organically, inspired by need. And so thinking of them strategically may seem futile. But with the right tools and governance, grass-roots solutions can evolve to satisfy enterprise-level requirements even if only in hindsight. At Point.io, we have set our mission to satisfy these top ten challenge so that app owners can trust the future to us while getting business done today.
Here’s the 10 Challenges and how we address them:
1) Master data management and ‘enterprise-grade IT’
Situational apps owned from A-Z by line of business, end-users may lack the sophistication necessary to ensure the integrity, security, and scalability of data and process expected of enterprise-grade tools.
Point.io: Our platform decomposes the anatomy of a situational app into elemental parts: flows, facts, and forms. Each element has unique concerns. The Fact components for instance deal with enterprise and cloud data. By separating the elements allows professional developers to build well designed components and worry about the details like security and traceability. These enterprise-grade Facts can then be  mixed-in by business owners to powerful content mashups without needing to worry about the details.
2) Clarity over role definitions
When business users get involved in building technological solutions, the roles and lines of accountability are blurred between IT, shadow-IT, and business owners. Who is responsible?
Point.io: The elemental decomposition aligns with roles and responsibilities naturally. Fact components are the purview of the IT leadership whose mandates to ensure data integrity and scale are clear. Flows are the primary concern of business owners who understand how business gets done optimally. And the apps that combine the elements together are the unique product of grass-roots insight within the lines of business. Each owns their portion with visibility to the activity of the other participants.
3) De-skilling database and applications design know-how
Complexity of building solid applications requires significant skills. Business users lack the time to acquire the skills for traditional application development.
Point.io: The decomposition of concerns is only the first principle in our solutions. Each component type: Apps, Facts, Flows, and Forms presents a user-interface that allows for simple configuration. Most offer drag-and-drop design capability AND an advanced code-based toolset to create answers for all tiers of sophistication. Business Users can jump into creating Situational Apps after viewing a 5-minute tutorial video using prebuilt components from their toolbox.
4) Richness of data integration and ETL tools
Availability of data sourced from multiple IT systems is usually limited due to the cost and complexity of data management tools and capabilities. Without them, situational apps will have limited utility.
Point.io: Facts drive data integration to 1) existing enterprise systems, 2) cloud-based tools, and 3) novel data repositories. The building of the Fact component requires some sophistication and infrastructure to ensure enterprise-grade integrity BUT mixing them together to create the situational app is easy AND compliant.
5) Adherence to platform compatibility standards
Going rogue with platforms and tools chosen specifically to support an individual situational need creates a complexity of management, redundancy of costs, and a failure to achieve economies of scale.
Point.io: By offering our platform in a variety of deployment forms, we make it possible for businesses to consolidate efforts for everything from the simplest one-screen situational app to the sexiest of native IOS apps. Initiatives can move from public cloud pilots to private managed services without interrupting the service to end-users. The platform supports many standards natively: BPMN workflow notation, HTML5, and JSON/XML data formats for instance.
Next Post Challenges 6 -10!

Law firms on the move

The “work anywhere” challenge

A major challenge facing today’s IT director is how to bridge the gap between the demand from users for the simplicity and ease of use of the applications they use every day, and the increasing security, data integrity and process requirements of the enterprise. Partners, lawyers and support staff are used to the ease with which they can access personal information and functionality on their favourite devices but are frustrated by the difficulty of doing the same when it comes to the services they need to do their jobs.

This is accentuated when considering the increasingly mobile nature of today’s lawyers. Banning the use of Dropbox, OneDrive and other consumer equivalents because of security concerns, without providing a sensible alternative, is not a sustainable way forward for the IT department.

Work anywhere with solutions from Point.io and VESK for Legal

veskforlegalPoint.io has joined with legal IT specialist firm VESK For Legal to create a joint solution to address the “work anywhere” challenge.

Point.io connects to over 30 industry-leading enterprise content management (ECM) and information storage solutions. These include iManage/WorkSite, OpenText, EMC Documentum, SharePoint, DropBox, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Google Drive, Salesforce, FTP and Windows shared drives.Point.io also integrates additional upcoming tools such as Docusign for digital signatures, , increasing productivity and simplifying process.



Making iManage mobile the easy way

Point.io’s iManage integration allows you to access the same documents you use in the office when you’re out and about – you can work from anywhere on whatever device you prefer to use.

A ‘one-click’ download will copy all the files you have accessed in the last thirty days, and the contents of their parent Workspaces, to secure storage solutions such as Citrix ShareFile or Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business, thereby providing you with all the information you need at your fingertips. It mails you when it’s done, so press the button and go!

The access rights associated with iManage are maintained so you can only see the documents you should.

Edit on the go using familiar Office tools and bring back in-house

Work on the documents you want, when you want, on whatever device you want using standard Microsoft Office tools. When you’re finished, simply press a button to create a single email containing links to all the documents you have changed allowing you to check the files back into iManage, or delegate the task.


Secure and compliant with Safe Harbour

Documents and files are transferred to OneDrive for Business or Citrix ShareFile secure storage solutions and automatically deleted once you have finished working on them. Point.io protects your documents and ensures you only work on current files!


To find out more about this and many other custom Apps for Legal, please contact us

Contact Us

VLog: Overcoming The Packaged App Gap


Enterprise systems (CRM and ERP among others) do not always fulfill their potential. They are bloated. They have fixed functionality. They are not easily modified for specific needs. Or are too expensive to modify and maintain. This is what we call “The Packaged App Gap”.


  1. For teams in the field, remote workers, mobile managers or frequent travelers, Point.io builds apps that are BOTH browser-based & mobile to manage and complete business processes.
  2. We deploy simply, quickly, and at a cost that encourages the deployment of situational apps. Solve every-day problems with your every-day budget.
  3. Apps built with Point.io can be deployed quickly because they plug-into existing IT architecture without disrupting them. That is, we meet IT’s existing requirements for ease of adoption, hosting, connectivity, and security.
  4. We have learned that app are even easier to adopt and afford when they are planned with simplicity in mind.
  5. In the case of situational apps, your philosophy can be that apps are deployed with a singular purpose or that they can be assembled in suites to tackle more complex problems RATHER than building a single, complex application.

Every business experiences the Packaged App Gap. Every business finds it’s own way over that Gap. By choosing a solution that encourages reuse, you can avoid filling your gap with garbage.

An App story: Alice the CIO

Mobile apps for business are either cookie-cutter consumer or crazy expensive, right? Maybe not.

If you are trying to deliver high-quality business solutions with an ever tightening budget, this story will be familiar.