Evidently, this “mobility” is a thing these days.
Exhibit A: The business section of the New York Times recently ran an article on this issue and its security implications. The article quotes a 42-year-old executive who claims to have “Dropbox, Box, YouSendIt, Teambox, Google Drive, naming just five of the many services on her iPhone”. The piece also mentions that Netflix found “employees using 496 smartphone apps, primarily for data storage, communications, and collaboration”. Netflix employees are overachievers in this regard, but I think we see a trend here.
But so what? And what should you do about it? The frustrating thing about trends (like mobility, or SharePoint, or the cloud, or regulations, or litigation e-discovery) is that they don’t tell you what you should do. Maybe you should jump onboard – or maybe you should ignore or run against the trend. Many of the organizations who spent tens of millions on gigantic monolithic enterprise content management (ECM) suites at the height of that trend may be thinking that they wished they jumped on a different trend – that of SharePoint and other lightweight options. The primary marketing tool for records management and discovery software has been a Chicken Little trend argument – that the sky is going to fall because everyone is sloppy with RM and discovery. So the vendors want you to counter that trend and buy RM technology. But many CIOs have reasoned that if everyone is sloppy – i.e. if sloppiness is a standard industry practice – then that’s a great argument against doing anything. In other words, “I’ll just wait it out until our bad behavior makes us stick out as egregious.”
So given that mobility is a trend with both an upside and a downside, you need to know what it means to your organization and you need a good set of instructions regarding what you should do. How should you evaluate your organization’s situation and what should you do to win?
This blog post is the first in a series of posts that is intended to fill most of that gap. I don’t plan on getting specific about products or with many of the technical issues regarding configuration and security, but trust me: At least you’ll know what you need the configuration and security for.
So without belaboring the issue, what are the mobile trends?
Users now expect mobile applications, wireless access, “life splicing” (integrating professional and personal life), social media, multiple devices and platforms, BYOD supported by IT, synching of all devices by using the cloud, “consumerization“. And what’s the result? Uncontrolled diversity, failed enterprise synching (far beyond desktop synching), system-of-engagement (versus system-of-record) problems. These include content stored in multiple locations and failed access, as well as absence of security control, version control, process control, and backup.
A pretty dismal picture, I’m sure you’ll agree.
So how do we win with mobile ECM – get the benefits while controlling the downside, i.e. the risks and costs?
Well, stick around. In my next post, I will begin laying out the six most important considerations Doculabs recommends for optimizing the upside benefits and controlling the downside costs and risks of mobile ECM.