Posted by Paul Quigley 01 September 2009
Whether it be proprietary enterprise,open source, MOSS SharePoint orWeb 2.0 based, content management applications are becoming as diverse in platform as they are in areas of specialism. The latest addition to the ECM roster, featured in this week’s feature special, is content management’s version ofSaaS – software-as-a-service, dubbed content-as-a-service, marking another sea-change in the evolution of this exciting area of digital asset, information lifecycle and document/knowledge management.
The sheer range now available to all sectors and sizes of business is proving that flexibility as well as ease-of-use is what users are calling for, no matter how sexy the bells and whistles may be. When it comes down to brass tacks, users want to be able to access and update their digital asset repositories from anywhere they choose – hence, the next frontier for content management will be the effective use of mobile access technologies. But, unlike mobile data ‘solutions’ of yesteryear, the on-ramps to these mobile content solutions must unequivocally be transparent and seamless. Those old enough to remember timeless names in mobile data such as RAM, Cognito, Band III and even WAP will recall just how clumsy and Heath-Robinson many of the early mobile data content systems and apps were.
Today, with bandwidth much less of a bottleneck, with processing power an order of magnitude far greater than before, the challenges for competitors and choice of apps forContent 2.0 in any mobile content, must be simplicity itself, so to speak. If content-as-a-service can be made to work in a web-based context to augment other SaaS applications, then moving it all on the hoof is the next evolutionary step to make.
For enterprises, much will depend on security. Given recent data loss debacles, the issue of security and data privacy is uppermost in most CIO and IT managers agendas, and any smart mobile content solutions will need to put this at the cornerstone of the product offering. Anything less will doubtless fail again and the wait will go on.
Fortunately, the tide of change as regards data and access integrity is, generally-speaking, a mission-critical priority that few developers will overlook. But that said, there is little margin for failure. In fact, no margin for failure until solutions have been road-tested to ensure robust mobile content solutions are the norm.
It’s a big ask, but opening up new frontiers are always fraught with the flotsam and jetsam of false dawns and the detritus of digital prototypes never to see the light of day from a commercial perspective, and a few that did that still managed to crash and burn. Apple Newton anyone? That aside, the value-add of a future mobile enterprise content conduit could form the basis of movingECM and itsDAM and DM/KM siblings into the mainstream.