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Mobility at the Center of Content Management Strategy

By CIOReview | Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Things have changed so rapidly in the past decade, that what seemed to be far-fetched and in the realm of science fiction has now become a reality. Devices which were thought to be distant dreams have now become an everyday affair. Smartphones have become an extension of ourselves and with a world of content at our fingertips; we drown ourselves in a constant stream of “conversations” and vast media including images, audio, video and voice. This has led to a greater need to manage content effectively and efficiently.

Content management tools have evolved and must now adapt to and embrace mobile users accessing systems and content, including content processed in the cloud. To scale to this ‘Brave New World’, protection policies must focus on the content being accessed and processed, as well as the context in which it is used.

There are many tangible benefits of a mobile workforce—from greater flexibility and improved information sharing to increased productivity. But this has got its own challenges. How can enterprises connect more devices, apps and a large volume of data to enable business productivity while simultaneously managing security and cost?

A comprehensive mobile-content development and management strategy is going to be the foundation of any successful business. While there are numerous technical and business challenges a company must address; a mobile enablement strategy should include the following areas:

• Enterprise Mobility Management: There’s an urgent need for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution that provides management the support to adapt to the unique constraints of the mobile world.
• Mobile Business Process Transformation: It’s a known fact that most business processes weren’t designed with mobile in mind and hence, the need arises to redesign the existing processes to take advantage of new capabilities such as location, device type and cameras.
• App Development Strategy: Many businesses are already concentrating on customized applications. IT must define a strategy that supports multiple mobile operating systems and devices with various screen sizes. Mobile also changes the way applications and workflows are designed. In the future, applications will offer voice navigation and eye tracking. This new world of applications must consider supporting a wide range of inputs and a continuum of screen sizes.
• Content Management Strategy: It is becoming increasingly apparent that companies are looking for new ways to extend data from existing content management solutions, such as Sharepoint, to mobile devices. A business needs spontaneous and intuitive mobile solutions that allow employees to access and share business content without putting enterprise security at stake. New cloud-based storage and document sharing solutions with various levels of security have emerged to solve this problem as well as new mobile applications management solutions.

Many IT departments don’t have well defined content management strategies, even as we make rapid strides towards the cloud and mobile era. It is worth noting that crucial information can be residing on various cloud-based services as well as mobile gadgets which may not be controlled directly by the organization.

Two technologies have emerged recently to assist IT personnel to develop a sound and secure content management strategy. These are: Mobile Content Management (MCM) and Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS)

Mobile Content Management (MCM)

Mobile Content Management (MCM) is considered to be a part of Enterprise Mobility Management System (EMMS) but has also been previously available as a separate and standalone product. It contains parts of cell phone device and application and is most often implemented as a secure container on a mobile device, under the constant vigil of a central authority. This container is encrypted, and policies of the organization define how users can view information in the container.

Mobile content management systems increasingly incorporate collaboration features. Take for instance Box, which lets users comment on files shared with colleagues and connects to hundreds of productivity applications. Other MCM products offer additional security features for endpoint devices. For example, AirWatch's Secure Content Locker uses secure storage containers to protect data downloaded to a mobile device.

Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS)

EFSS can be referred to a range of on-premises or cloud-based capabilities that facilitate individuals to synchronize and share documents, photos, videos and files across multiple devices, such as smartphones and PCs. The fact remains that file sharing can happen within an organization as well as with partners and clients. Security and collaboration are critical capabilities of EFSS to address enterprise priorities.

EFSS helps companies to efficiently manage document sharing among its users. Earlier it was based on a central content management store model. The gradual shift to EFSS has given companies the freedom to go for a more spread out model, where different groups and employees are able to edit and distribute files and content as needed – including devices like tablets and phones. It allows users to not only view those files, but also to edit them in real time.

One thing that comes to mind when deploying an MCM or EFSS product is whether to host the service locally or in the cloud. It remains of utmost concern to IT managers who are concerned about the sensitive data hosted by the third party. It represents a potential security threat which the clients cannot address themselves.

Picking the right content management tool can be a strenuous exercise. While the traditional ways of network sharing will continue to play their role in many organizations, time is ripe for more secure and efficient content management strategies to make their mark in this arena.