The Question of Managing Mobile Content

By Stephanie Blanchard, Digital Editor — October 01, 2013

Ask an enterprise whether it has confidence in the mobile content management process, and the answer has an equal chance of being yes as no. That’s according to research recently released by Accellion, Inc. and AIIM, in which 51% of organizations have “big doubts” about the process.

Worse, only 18% of organizations are confident that their mobile policies are compliant with corporate policy and government regulation.

Accellion, which was founded in 1999, has seen the landscape change several times since it first opened for business. MDM had huge growth with the advent of the iPhone. As apps became popular, application management took off.

“What we are seeing now is organizations are realizing they need to protect the content,” said Rama Kolappan, Director Mobile Product Marketing, Accellion, in an interview with Mobile Enterprise.

Regulated industries, already heavily invested in private clouds on premises and iManage type document systems, are looking for simple pathways to the mobile solutions, so end-users can better access content. For other verticals, to say there is a disconnect within IT, however, is an understatement. Almost 70% of respondents are still not ready for mobile access while 90% are concerned about the security of access to content.

“They know mobile access is essential, but are still trying to figure out how to implement BYOD,” Kolappa said. In addition, many are just trying to figure out what to spend budgets on. With the marketplace moving so fast, it’s a hard decision to make when new solutions, or the “next big thing” is just around the corner.

With 70% of respondents expressing they are “concerned” and another 20% “extremely concerned” about mobile file sharing, there is clear need for organizations to develop mobile content access policies and functionality.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Ninety-one percent respondents believe they must limit or control which sites or folders are accessible to end users on mobile devices—e.g., mobile users can access sales documents but not HR documents.
  • While 51% of large organizations have an MDM solution in place, only 24% of smaller organizations have such solutions.
  • Only 14% of organizations have a corporate app store, with another 14% in the process of developing one.
In addition, 63% of organizations want to eliminate or limit VPN use. Why? VPN, the once go-to solution for laptops and PCs, doesn’t provide the same user experience for mobile users, and involves data migration. And good user experience is imperative, so employees are not tempted to try a consumer-grade app.

Enterprise is going through a huge shift with mobile. Hard to use, non-intuitive enterprise solutions are not only old-school, but simply do not work. Why? No one wants to use them.

User behavior is often influenced by what is available. IT might blacklist apps or allow apps on a limited basis, in an effort to passively control. But when employees are bombarded by tons of free tools on the market, most are simply trying to figure out what is best for them and will find a way to use what they prefer. End-users, for example, want the Dropbox experience. They like it. It works.

Training will help overcome the knowledge gap. But it also means providing enterprise grade solutions that offer the same consumer experience. Show how the app is more efficient — and useable —and increase productivity as a result.

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