We hear a lot about mobile devices – their capabilities, applications, compatibility, user interfaces, touchscreens, etc. We (especially mobile professionals) want our devices to provide Internet access anytime and anywhere. But at the heart of access is data availability. Even with the smartest smartphone, the necessary corporate data must be available for access in the first place.
It’s one thing to have access to data, but even more important is to have the right data easily and simply available. This is what Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is all about in a mobile world.
A strong information management foundation is fundamental. Without an ECM strategy it will be difficult for enterprises to fully realize the productivity benefits of mobility. Mobility and ECM strategies definitely go hand-in-hand.
The irony of ECM, according to cmswire.com, is that enterprise systems are not as cutting edge as those in the consumer market. As Dan Keldsen, writing at cmswire.com, observes, “We're used to some awfully slick, engaging and useful interfaces in consumer-land, it certainly is starting to irritate people that their enterprise systems pale by comparison.”
Should enterprises then devote resources (time, money, effort) to improve systems to be similarly modern? Keldsen says yes: “If it's going to help retain or bring on new talent to the organization, make people more effective and efficient, cut out costs, etc., then of course.” But how can cutting edge for enterprises be at the top of the list when most organizations still have not even heard of, let alone mastered, ECM? Enterprises are facing other challenges too, such as budget restrictions, technology implementations, and day-to-day IT management.
Next Steps – Focus on the Fundamentals
So what is an enterprise to do? Focus on the fundamentals. First, think about what information is needed by which workgroups or constituents to yield competitiveness, ingenuity, and rewarding customer experiences. Next, think about how you can capture, integrate, and use data from new sources like social media. More and more, enterprises are gathering customer and competitive data from new sources, helping them make intelligent decisions for customers and their business overall. Once the important data is assessed and made available, the enterprise can then make further decisions on how to make this data accessible to its mobile professionals, and what devices and applications the enterprise will support.
In addition, enterprises are well positioned to explore the latest M2M (machine-to-machine) phenomenon that takes wireless beyond the mobile phone by interconnecting a vast variety of electronic devices. This will further propel enterprises into making the right data available to the right people, the instant they need it. Let the fundamentals be your true north.