Mobility’s massive impact on ECM app management

In the past 15 years, content services (ECM) has transformed immensely thanks to a rapid proliferation of relevant technologies and massive increases in data volumes. Companies in every industry have to find ways to maximize their information governance and content management prowess to capitalize on the opportunities involved in modern marketplaces, and software is central to these efforts.

"Businesses are expected to invest $24.6 billion into ECM in 2015."

This was evidenced by a September study from Research and Markets that revealed organizations are expected to pour more than $24.6 billion into ECM solutions globally this year, and double that investment volume by the end of the decade to $59.9 billion in annual spending. This would represent a compound annual growth rate of roughly 19.5 percent between this year and 2020.

Companies have to ensure that they are taking progressive steps toward more functional and powerful ECM app management software deployments, as these tools will help to ensure that the solutions are operating properly and reliably. With so much at stake within ECM systems, failing to adequately monitor and manage the apps will almost assuredly result in increased risk related to information control, outages, disruptions and data breaches.

Each major trend to have surfaced in the past few years has had a direct impact on ECM performance management, with big data, the Internet of Things and mobility being the most widespread across all industries and regions. When it comes to mobility, business leaders will need to craft strategies and deploy ECM app monitoring software to ensure they are optimizing access for smartphones, tablets, portable computers, applications and mobile users at large.

Expert view on mobility and ECM

AIIM President John Mancini recently published a blog in CTO Vision regarding the findings of studies his association has conducted in the past year that related to the lag between mobile deployments and ECM progress. As a note, BYOD and other mobility strategies have not been quite as strong as many would hope at this stage in the game, with a majority of businesses still failing to create and execute adequate policies and processes to enable better performances.

Additionally, mobility is often viewed as the most dangerous aspect of cybersecurity frameworks, as high frequencies of breaches originate from lost, stolen or otherwise compromised mobile devices. According to Mancini, roughly 40 percent of organizations have yet to enable access to core ECM systems and corporate data through mobile devices and apps, which essentially makes these strategies moot in the long run.

When employees cannot access mission-critical apps, systems and data from their mobile devices, BYOD strategies will simply not function properly, nor will users be productive. He went on to note that security is likely one of the greatest problems involved, hindering the speed and comprehension of mobility deployments and strategic overhauls given the fears of decision-makers related to information loss and exposure.

Mobile data remains a dark spot in the average ECM strategy. Mobile data remains a dark spot in the average ECM strategy.

Perhaps not that surprisingly, the AIIM chief executive officer argued that cloud-based systems are playing a central role in many companies' efforts to not only launch mobility strategies, but improve user experiences and data control in the same motion. However, Mancini pointed out that leaders in each organization need to become more involved in these efforts to make a big difference.

Modern ECM systems will often make it easier to transition into mobile workplaces and novel telecommuting programs, but only when the tools selected are properly prepared, monitored and managed every step of the way. Mancini affirmed that mobile ECM migrations will be critical to keep the ball rolling in the right direction on BYOD and similar projects.

Decision-makers also need to remember that mobility is merely the first step in a more dramatic motion toward the IoT, which will have an even greater impact on ECM systems in the coming years. This is why preparing for the flood of novel gadgets and apps today is so imperative to maintaining strong ECM performances in the future.

Momentum building

FierceContentManagement editor Lisa McGreevy recently explained some of the signs that point to mobile ECM being a major focus of most organizations for the remainder of 2015 and into the new year. She first cited AIIM's Mancini from a report the association conducted a few months ago. 

"Business leaders are all too aware of the necessity of being part of the mobile content revolution," Mancini stated, according to McGreevy. "In a recent AIIM study, more than three-quarters of business executives surveyed said they need to embrace mobile applications fast, or get left behind or find employees using workarounds of their own under the radar of the IT departments."

"ECM and EMM must be properly integrated soon."

AIIM is not the only organization focusing on these trends, either, as the editor then explained that Barry Jinks of KMWorld has pointed to the need for more progressive integration between ECM systems and enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions. As a note, the average organization has yet to deploy EMM tools thus far, putting their security at risk and certainly working against the productivity and efficiency increases that should be involved in mobility program implementation. 

"Although there are many vendors in the Enterprise Mobile Management, Enterprise Content Management/Enterprise File Sync and Share space, the majority still don't resolve the mobile user adoption issue," Jinks asserted. "EMM vendors have traditionally focused on managing mobile devices and applications, while EFSS vendors focused on making it easy to store and share files on mobile devices."

McGreevy pointed to the need for more tailored ECM app management strategies that are specifically focused on the challenges and demands of enterprise mobility. Companies that proactively refine their ECM management strategies and deploy the right monitoring and management software will be better-positioned to excel in a range of operational matters in the coming years.