We recently gathered together the leading industry experts to discuss the current state and future of enterprise mobility. Going mobile has been a trending topic lately, and the demand for mobile-ready Enterprise Content Management and Process Automation continues to grow.
This week will we hear from Pam Baker
What is the biggest impact mobility will have on the information management industry?
Baker: That depends on the timeframe you’re looking at. In the short-term, mobility has dramatic impact on the volume of unstructured data that must be folded into the company’s database in a searchable, flexible and highly usable way. Along with that come security and compliance challenges that also impact companies.
In the long-term, mobility is changing how business is done, how data is gathered, and how data is used. Until recently, mobile data has been one-way i.e. users gather, generate, and retrieve data. But now companies and researchers are finding ways to proactively use mobile data in the other direction.
To this end, reality mining has already emerged. For example, MIT is mining data from users’ cell phones to predict everything from individual to community and regional trends, patterns, and vulnerabilities. Mining this data allows the accurate prediction of disease-spread in future pandemics, and reveals groups and individuals who are vulnerable to alcoholism, political propaganda, terrorist acts, and more. Reality mining will rapidly become more common which means mobility will greatly impact big data repositories and document management.
Last but not least, the changes mobility brings to document management now will help companies transition to the inevitable rise of ubiquitous, aka pervasive, computing wherein the volume of data will dramatically increase but its management will be remarkably similar to managing mobile data.
What are the greatest benefits to integrating mobile with ECM and Process Automation technology?
Baker: If you don’t integrate mobile with your ECM/DCM/BPM technology, your company is missing a good chuck of its intelligence and business records. Your company is also at risk on compliance issues.
You have to think in terms of your overall business operation rather than in terms of where the data came from. In other words, mobile isn’t just an information venue that you can elect to include or not – it is simply a part of your operation and therefore it cannot be excluded from your business and document management.
What are the greatest challenges in deploying mobility in the workplace?
Baker: Security and compliance are the biggest challenges and by the way, they always will be.
What is the most successful consequence you have witnessed in an organization that adopted mobility?
Baker: Increased efficiency and sales.
I’ve seen companies use their service force to do upsells and thus dramatically increase their profits with the help of mobility. And, I’ve seen plenty of companies use it to increase efficiencies (as FedEx and UPS have done so well). Really there is no limit to the benefits to be had with mobility.
Can you imagine having this conversation when the first landline phones became available? “Is there a benefit to having a rotary telephone in your business?” Seriously?! There is *always* a benefit to having any additional form of communications with your customers, employees, and vendors. How much benefit you get is entirely dependent on how well you use the technology.
What industries are leading the way and lagging behind in terms of mobile adoption? Why?
Baker: Retail is seriously lagging behind although there are those within who are working to change that. Take J.C. Penny for example. The company is making dramatic strides, including the wide use of tablets on the sales floor, to bring retailing into the current era. But I think that has more to do with the fact that the current CEO, Ron Johnson, was a former senior vice president of retail operations at Apple than it does with a general awakening of the industry.