A businessman reading about customer experience technology on his smartphone, while waiting for the train to take him to work. - Mobile content management system
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In an explanatory paper published at the end of last year, VMWare outlined what mobile content management (MCM) systems are and why enterprises should consider investing, especially if they have large workforces that spend a lot of time outside the enterprise itself.

Remote Work and Content Management

According to the paper, MCM solutions helps organization address the challenge of securely deploying content to a wide variety of devices using a few key actions. While it is similar to the content management systems that are currently used in the enterprise, MCM systems store, manage and deliver content to employee’s mobile devices.

VMWare has substantial interest in the MCM market through its WorkspaceOne content management that promises employees anytime, anywhere access to corporate content to stay productive thought mobile devices.

VMWare points out that by giving users access to the latest corporate content on their mobile devices, regardless of where it’s stored, organizations can increase mobile productivity while ensuring corporate data remains secure.

The need to offer this kind of access is becoming urgent for enterprises. Research from IDC (subscription required) suggests that by 2020 the number of mobile workers in the U.S. will be 105.4 million, with mobile workers accounting for nearly three-quarters (72.3%) of the workforce.

More to the point, healthcare workers, who use large amounts of personal data, represent the largest segment of the mobile workforce, accounting for 18% of the total U.S. mobile worker population when office-based and non-office-based healthcare workers are combined.

To be clear, IDC defines office-based mobile workers as those whose primary workplace is an office environment, including both corporate and home locations. This category includes mobile professionals, occasionally mobile workers, mobile non-travelers and telecommuters. Non-office-based mobile workers are those whose primary workplace is on location or in the field, not in an office environment

This is also a global trend. Strategy Analytics predicts that the global mobile workforce is set to increase from 1.52 billion in 2017, accounting for 39.3% of the global workforce, to 1.88 billion in 2023, accounting for 43.3% of the global workforce. Globalization will continue to drive the growth of mobile office workers in all regions. In such a situation, securing and management content for these workers must be an enterprise priority. So what should and MCM systems do?

Related Article: Omnichannel Customer Experience: How Much Is too Much?

Mobile Content Sharing

The backbone of an MCM system is effective file storage and efficient file sharing, according to Saad Qureshi from Stratigia. A mobile CMS can offer quick fixes, flexibility and good user experience, which makes it an ideal fit for enterprises. Mobile CMSs will eventually grow at an exponential rate, a claim that can be backed by two facts:

  1. The increased rate of content consumption. Users now are more interested in learning and self-grooming, unlike in the past when dependability on others was common.
  2. Developers are shifting to advanced API structures over rigid solutions.

There are three enterprise advantages:

  • Data Loading: Storing the mobile data in the cloud enables platforms to dynamically load the data into their applications.
  • Easy integration: Mobile CMS are often easy to set up as compared to traditional back-ends and much easier to use as well. If you're not tech savvy it's quite easy to add and modify content without stressing about writing code.
  • Content Changes: Mobile CMS allow changes to content without reshipping applications or setting up expensive back-ends for the product. It also gives the developer autonomy over the way content is treated on the client side by using a decoupled CMS.

As enterprises invest in MCM systems, data management and security — while critical — are not the only issues that should be top of mind, employee experience is important as well.

Enterprises must ensure their employees have a way to seamlessly transition between mobile devices and desktops, and from hard copies and digital documents, through the use of mobile printing and scanning apps. The ability to flexibly share, view, print and/or scan both physical and digital documents as the situation requires while workers are dispersed and mobile will ensure greater productivity, engagement and collaboration.

Working on Mobile Content

There are other problems too. Today, content is not only accessed and shared between employees and customers, but there is also an expectation to be able to interact with and change it, said Zviki Ben-Ishay, CEO and co-founder at Lightico. For example, customer-facing employees, like service agents, need to access and deliver documents to customers. This means that CMS must be able to deliver the right content at the right time to the right device — in most cases, that’s a customer’s mobile phone. Once they receive content, consumers expect to be able to interact with it, such as reading, approving or adding to it.

To do this, it’s imperative that a CMS can manage mobile endpoints and reflect end-user interactions, like adding signatures, submitting payments and more. "This type of customer-centric, dynamic CMS allows businesses to improve their overall employee satisfaction and business results," Ishav said. "By providing employees with a platform that empowers agents to access, manage and complete customer-facing content via their mobile devices, businesses and customers are more successful."

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Integrated Content Mobile Management?

Gabriel McIntosh, director of digital marketing at CGS, argues however, that having a separate system for MCM is now redundant given that most CMSs have a mobile module.

"In today's business world, accessing work content on our phones is part of our work life, given that 60% of employees use apps for work-related activities," he said. "Because most tools we use to create and consume content for work are omnichannel, having a separate CMS only for mobile is unnecessarily redundant."

Work applications, including content management, must be developed with an omnichannel philosophy because it's an omnichannel reality. For better or worse, similar to our shopping habits, our work habits are omnichannel. To maintain two content management systems with one to manage only mobile content, is not effective in that it's not omnichannel and, therefore, not a future-proof investment.

Having a distinct MCM system is only effective if it's part of a headless CMS where the mobile content is accessed by a secure API. A distinct and separate CMS that is not part of the greater marketing technology stack is inefficient and ineffective. Having a separate CMS adds extra resources to manage, maintain and secure. It needs to connect to other CMS and raises complications about which system is the ground truth.

A separate system is especially ineffective where employees are also managing content using omnichannel systems that work effectively on a mobile phone and a desktop, such as OneDrive as part of Office 365, Dropbox or Google Drive as part of G-Suite. Furthermore, most employee intranets, also provide built-in mobile tools and API connectors for omnichannel content management.