We've written a lot lately about mobile solutions in content management and social media. The market for mobile content is trending strongly upward especially with the release of the iPhone and the enhancements to the Blackberry.
Oddly enough though, e-Spirit has found that only 35% of organizations they surveyed in the UK have optimized their websites for mobile devices. This a potentially huge market. Failing to address it is a mistake.
Surveying the Enterprise on Mobile Devices
The research survey was conducted with OmniBoss Enterprise in October of this year. It included 100 senior IT decision makers at the CIO/IT Director level in the UK. What e-Spirit found was that only 35% of these organizations were optimizing the content on their websites for displayed in mobile devices.
This surprised them, considering reports from the likes of IDC saying that the number of mobile Internet users is growing substantially.
According to IDC’s Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast the number of mobile users will reach 546 million this year, which is almost double the number in 2006. Even more interesting is that this number is expected to surpass 1.5 billion worldwide by 2012.
Robert Bredlau, director of international development, e-Spirit UK, said: “ We’ve seen a boom in the use of the internet on mobile handsets in the last year, thanks to devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry. The trouble is a lot of web content is designed for viewing on standard size screens, so viewing them on anything smaller can result in a poor user experience. Companies are hampering their own success by not maximising their website’s potential.”
Interesting to note though that a US-based survey by Accenture also done in October showed that mobile adoption isn't as strong as the IDC may lead us to believe. Mind you, their survey base of 5,000 may have been much smaller.
Does Mobile Access Matter for the Majority of Organizations?
So 40% of all of Internet users have mobile Internet access, but what are they doing when they use it? The IDC report says that the most popular activities done via mobile include "searching the Web, accessing news and sports information, downloading music, videos, and ringtones, using instant messaging, and using Internet email".
The question then becomes, what are they searching the web for? Depending on your market, your website may or may not need to support mobile device access. If the most popular activities are more entertainment based, then if your website offers this type of content, you need to provide a mobile view of your content.
Otherwise, you may be spending a lot of money enabling mobile access when it really isn't necessary.
FirstSpirit Solutions For Mobile Devices
Obviously e-Spirit had a reason for completing their survey. Their recently updated FirstSpirit ECM solution includes the ability to deliver mobile specific content. This is done through the use of a content aggregator and device handler.
The Decision to Support Mobile
Do you need to support mobile access to your website? Only you know your target market and their surfing preferences. When selecting a content management system, make sure they can support mobile content delivery even if you don't need it now...you never know how your audience will change down the road.