As a technical writer, I have a keen interest in mobile content management and how a mobile workforce can best interact with corporate documents anytime, anywhere, from any device. Looking forward, I think 2016 could be a good year for mobilizing corporate content but not without some challenges.
Challenges to mobilizing content in 2016
Here are some challenges that remain in 2016 for mobilizing corporate content:
A top challenge to mobilizing corporate content remains security. The enterprise mobility management (EMM)/mobile device management market (MDM) saw some consolidation in recent years. The end user experience for these platforms varies with end users in some organizations not pleased with secure containers.
Collaboration platforms, in particular Microsoft SharePoint can pose another challenge to mobilizing corporate content. Getting past this challenges starts by having to get your SharePoint house in order as whole.Opening up SharePoint to mobile users means:
- Opening up your network with virtual private network (VPN) access
- Reviewing your SharePoint licensing
- Convincing your user community to try using SharePoint again
- Moving to Microsoft Office 365 (potentially)
Commoditization of cloud storage and collaboration
While mobile collaboration champions point to issues around SharePoint and mobility, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the commoditization of cloud storage and cloud collaboration of the past few years is another challenge to mobilizing corporate content in 2016. Dropbox and Box amongst some other providers made some strategic moves.
Unless there’s a watchful eye of a compliance auditor, it can be easy to ignore data governance for some organizations. I recommend that enterprises review data ownership prior to going to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and advise the same when mobilizing your corporate content in 2016.
Huddle, a startup cloud collaboration platform vendor (and Microsoft SharePoint challenger), created a white paper entitled Content collaboration for the mobile workforce captures another issue that I’ve seen dog enterprise content for years:
Content fragmentation is another issue. The vast majority of enterprise content is locked away in separate, siloed desktops, email, mobile, personal storage, and cloud environments. The problem is set to get worse too: the volume of content being produced is increasing exponentially every day, much of it duplicated and the vast majority of it only viewed once.
Mobility as a game changer
I wrote about mobile apps from Colligo and harmon.ie when I was freelancing for CNET TechRepublic. Both company’s mobile offerings along with Microsoft Office 365 are bright spots amongst the challenges facing enterprises wanting to mobilize their content. While I’m a fan of the SharePoint mobile client apps from both, there might be some need for end user training depending on the SharePoint culture in your organization prior to you mobilizing your corporate content.
My 2016 predictions about mobilizing corporate content
Here are my predictions for mobilizing content in 2016:
- Blackberry’s assimilation of the Good Technology platform stalls in 2016 as leadership and senior developers on the Good Technology side leave the company.
- More powerful tablets including the iPad Pro open up more opportunities for mobilizing corporate content in 2016, but the adoption of these new tablets won’t be enough to help mobilize corporate content in the new year.
- Consolidation in the MDM marketplace continues at an even quicker pace through 2016.
- A third party mobile SharePoint client developer becomes an acquisition target for Microsoft.
- Another EMM/MDM vendor pulls a Globo PLC winnowing that market down even further.
- Application programming interfaces (APIs) play an increasingly important role in mobilizing corporate content in 2016.
- An identity management provider suffers a security breach catastrophic to their client’s data in 2016 leading to sweeping changes in that market.
I’ve had the pleasure to see the mobile and collaboration technologies up close in the past few years. What I hope to see in 2016 are more corporations find the right balance between technology, mobility, and data governance to mobilize their content securely.
Are you mobilizing your corporate content in 2016?
Will Kelly is a technical writer and analyst based in the Washington, DC area. He has worked with commercial, federal, higher education, and publishing clients to develop technical and thought leadership content. His technology articles have been published by CNET TechRepublic, Government Computer News, Federal Computer Week, Toolbox.com, ZDNet.com and others. Follow Will on Twitter:@willkelly.
Image by William Iven via Unsplash.com