Content's going mobile: FCM goes to Mobile World Congress


As I write this week's Editor's Corner, I'm on the plane from Berlin to Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress, the massive conference about all things mobile. It got me thinking about how important mobile has become in terms of accessing and managing content. In fact, it's a major focus of web and enterprise content management today.

Up until fairly recently, you had a company website and that was fine. Today, many companies think of the mobile strategy first and the desktop mobile website second. That's because so many people in the world are carrying smart mobile devices now.

In fact, in some areas of the world, the mobile device is likely to be the chief means of accessing the Internet because tablets and PCs are simply too expensive. With that in mind, it's imperative to think about the best mobile experience possible.

You may want to consider a mobile website, an app or a hybrid approach, but you can't simply throw your desktop website out there and expect that will suffice for mobile. I know from a personal standpoint, nothing annoys me more than opening a website on my smartphone only to find that it hasn't been tuned for the mobile experience.

If you force the visitor to pinch and zoom to see the site, it's a source of aggravation and an excuse to leave--and the goal of course is to keep the user on the site as long as possible. Most people get bored quickly under the best of circumstances, so you certainly don't want to put up roadblocks.

You need to create a smooth experience across devices, operating environments and screen sizes--and your web content management system can certainly help in that regard.

Beyond the website, employees want and expect to be able to access their files anywhere, anytime, on any device, regardless of location. If there's Internet access--and even if there's not--they want their files. 

When I spoke to Box CEO Aaron Levie at BoxWorks in October, he told me when they started selling to the enterprise, the conversation was about traditional ECM concerns like workflow, but then the iPad came along in 2009 and people suddenly became more concerned with putting documents in motion and securing them in motion, and that changed the focus of the conversation.

Today, that's even more important (as Box's security announcement this week illustrates). In fact, just about every major ECM vendor offers a way to collaborate and share files on the go. The focus has shifted from how do I protect files behind the firewall and keep them safe to how do I provide my users with access to the files they need on any device outside the enterprise--and how do I collaborate and share information with third parties in a secure fashion?

As Levie pointed out to me, the conversation began shifting in 2009. Four years later, putting documents in motion is an enterprise imperative.

As I walk the Hall of the Mobile World Congress this week, I will keep a special eye out for those products and services that are geared toward content, collaboration and file sharing, as well as web content management--and next week I will report back on my findings. The sheer size of Mobile World Congress shows the importance of mobile in all aspects of business, and why content owners need to pay special attention to it. - Ron