Mobility trends are clear and undeniable, it is not just that the global market for mobile devices is now measured in the multiple billions, but also that the next generation of mobile devices has gained traction at a remarkable rate. While smart phones only account for slightly more than 15% of mobile devices worldwide, that’s 15% of several billion, which is itself a pretty respectable number. In the long run, it will be interesting to see the dynamics between terminal devices with access to SaaS applications, vs. smart phones that provide processing services on the device itself. In both cases there is a significant content play since the main use of a smart phone or SaaS feature phone is data-centric, rather than voice-centric applications. Content not only needs to be mobilized, it needs mobilization across a broad range of media deliverables. The whole point of a content management system is to control complex information resources (including integration into back-end systems), and deliver the right information at the right time, and more often than not, to a mobile device. For field service personnel that require access to complex rich media information, this implies the content system needs to manage virtualization (doesn’t matter what the access device looks like, the information should always look and act the same), and synchronization (the fact that I’ve accessed and perhaps changed my files while on a mobile device should not result in multiple versions of the same file). This, of course, is in addition to baseline mobile requirements such as security, compliance with IT governance, etc.
The fact that information resources can be meta-tagged and categorized via some form of vertical ontology (that is, tagged and bagged), and have this done independent of the media type, means that when a field worker looks for information, the content management platform becomes a mobile enabler. It doesn’t (and should not) matter what the media type is; video can be tagged and bagged, just like text documents, graphics, .wav files, essentially any resource that has relevant information can be organized and stored at the component level, and assembled on the fly in response to a query (e.g. “what is the proper procedure for replacing the armature platter on an MRI Scanner?”). Having a medical/technology ontology that categorizes tagged and bagged information resources means the field worker receives a full blown rich media response to this query: this can include a text description of the procedure, a video tutorial, graphics that can be exploded and rotated, a voice walk through, and so on.
In this context, a component content management system become a mobilization platform for rich media enterprise applications, and this can also be expanded to include supply chain partners that may feed information resources into an assembled product field guide. The combination of mobility requirements and the drive towards rich media is breathing new life into the content management domain across a broad range of vertical markets.