Rethinking Your Mobile Content Platform: Preparing for Responsive Designs

September 30th, 2014Mobility

Responsive designs are the hidden hands that adjust experience based on conditions and user actions and needs. Today, responsive design web sites and applications provide an optimal viewing experience on different platforms, orientations, and across a wide range of screen sizes. Publishing tools such as Adobe Experience Manager and developer tools such as Apple’s adaptive layout make these responsive designs possible.

Responsive designs also consume machine data from sensors and cloud services to further refine the in-context process to include location, time, motion, social connections, and transaction history. For example the closer you get to an iBeacon, the content will change from a notification, to a brochure, to a widget on your watch where you can make a purchase.

iOS 8 Extensibility, opens up the current sandboxed apps so developers can wrap functionality from one app and make it available to other. What that means is soon, public apps will begin to work like magic as they adapt to your needs. This is referred to, by some, as the mobile moment and it will drive significant innovation and expectations. Apps are nothing without the data they manipulate and enterprises will soon be facing new and greater challenges in managing the critical path to delivering secure content.

Mobile trendsetter employees were first to create and move business files onto mobile devices. Often after struggling with the rigidity of legacy systems they turned to unsanctioned consumer-based cloud services or emailed content to personal accounts. Gartner’s July 2014 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS), indicated that there were more than 100 vendors in the market each pushing out new capabilities, new interfaces, new storage limits, and lower pricing updates.  We can expect the pace of innovation to accelerate in how mobile apps interact with cloud services, devices and our surroundings. The volumes of data will continue to surge and protecting sensitive information will only become more difficult.

Accepting the fact that consumerization is driving businesses to rethink everything is the first step in addressing this new world.  This is a user-driven market, where IT leads from behind. Agility, choice, and exceptional user experience are in the lead and must be enabled. Content will be unleashed from folders and complex record management systems and become contextually aware. Email attachments will be transformed to notifications and links. Machine data will overwhelm user generated data (already two-thirds, of all web visits are made by Internet bots).  EFSS platforms will become a broad set of vertical channels that will require front end orchestration and tight integration with Mobile Device and Mobile Application management services.

The following are the key service areas that need to be addressed in building responsive, mobile content platform services:

  • Heat maps for data classification and formalize data channels – Classifying data with impact ratings of confidentiality, integrity, and availability helps both technology and business managers make appropriate decisions. FIPS PUB 199 provides an example framework. Correlation of the data to community of interest and cloud repositories will help to organize channels.
  • Use cases that focus on user experience – Exceptional user experience will need smart apps that are convenient, easy, reliable, intelligently refreshed, and cross-platform. The data stores will need to include new methods to browse, search, and be notified, as well as, integrate with existing desktop and content repositories. It will also have user features such as “favorites”, “what’s new / been read”, and annotated, along with social connections to share and collaborate in real-time.
  • Multi-tiered security, and management – When Mobile Content Management (MCM) is combined with Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) it provides advantages of improved security, productivity, efficiency, and agility to support the needs of a mobile enterprise. This includes: consolidated views of multiple data repositories; compliance capabilities such as validating the device is under management and in compliance before granting application access; requiring multifactor authentication or having single sign on to a container of apps; restricting content to be viewed only on certain devices, and only at defined times, locations, and networks; and providing additional layers of  data loss protection such as, restricting open in, copy/paste, screen captures, and printing where watermarking (i.e. username) can be added.
  • Organizational enablement and delegation – For efficiency, serviceability, and sustainability, role-based access rights with varying degrees of control to publish authoritative documents to specific user groups will be required.  Usage data returned back to the publisher about what was read, by whom, when etc. will also be useful. In addition to delegating publisher rights to employees, delegation of what sensor or personal accessory will be granted access rights will also need to be managed.
  • Compliance, auditing, and analytics – Automated compliance controls begins with notifications, such as, to perform updates or view requiring video training, are then tied to consequences like disabling email. More metadata about how content is used along with machine-to-machine communications with perfect memory will result in better insight and responsive designs that drive engagement, experiences, and decision-making.

In summary, MDM and MAM are becoming mature, while MCM (the third leg of the mobility stool) is currently lagging behind. As responsive designs become more commonplace and essential, all content will be managed in context of specific users, devices, and business processes that predict and deliver the mobile moment.