Mobile ECM provides immediate and easy access to data.
When applications first migrated onto the mobile scene, many were designed for personal use: communications, entertainment, banking, or basic online browsing. Today business is increasingly becoming mobilized and organizations are taking charge – enabling workers to do business anywhere, anytime – even when away from the office.
As the digital revolution continues to deliver new efficiencies and more flexibility, leading Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems are evolving to keep pace and help shape and support modern work requirements with mobile capabilities. And they are finding a large and receptive market: Two-thirds of U.S. enterprises plan to invest more in mobility in the next year, according to a recent IDC survey.
According to the latest U.S. Census, 3.7 million employees work from home for at least half the time, and the number of regular telecommuting has grown 115% since 2005. Per a recent Gallup poll, 43% of the US workforce spent some time working remotely last year – with that figure steadily increasing. In certain industries – such as transportation, information systems and mathematics – more than half of employees work remotely at least some of the time. Many employers and employees alike agree that flexibility and productivity are top benefits of working remotely and younger generations consider “working mobile” to be a basic workplace requirement.
But employee engagement can be challenging for companies with remote work forces. Mobile ECM can be part of the solution – providing the means for employees to participate in workflows and collaborate with their peers.
Mobile phones, devices and networks gain more sophistication with each design cycle, offering even more capabilities and accommodation to make work anywhere a reality for the growing mobile workforce
With the ubiquity of smart phones, computing in the workplace has changed in recent years with many companies permitting employees to use their personal smartphone for work-related tasks – a concept known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). BYOD strategies can dramatically reduce a businesses’ hardware costs.
BYOD is not a new concept, but the adoption rate is expected to continue to increase in 2019. In fact, a Research and Markets report projects the BYOD market will grow at a combined annual growth rate of more than 17% over the next four years.
To address the needs of this new workforce, organizations are retooling. Industry research firm 451 has coined the phrase ‘enterprise in motion’ as a concept to describe how organizations use emerging IT innovations to automate business processes, codify them in applications, and extend them to mobile users. According to 451 analysts, this is integral to an enterprise’s overall digital transformation strategy.
Industry analysts at Forrester say this type of automation will become “the top of the digital transformation spear,” impacting everything from infrastructure to customers to business models in 2019.
Leaders in the enterprise software space have been preparing to accommodate this mobile transformation by developing software that is hosted in the cloud with user interfaces that are tailored for smaller screens. Mobile apps must be more than slimmed down software version of the full-blown corporate edition, however. Today users want the same functionality, same user experience, same latency periods, and same results as the applications they’re accustomed to working with in the office – but now it all must be accessible via their mobile device of choice.
For mobile ECM solutions, this means offering powerful functionality to streamline tasks such as workflow approval and time-stamped audit trails to support compliance and corporate governance requirements.
Mobile ECM solutions complement on-premise ECM and process automation platforms by extending the functionality to the mobile realm. Many today feature an elegantly simple user experience and help users streamline tasks through powerful functionality. Employees are empowered to modernize and transform their business work habits leveraging savvy software programs that deliver flexibility with real-time mobile access.
One of the most critical requirements for mobile ECM solutions is security. Leveraging networks and firewalls outside the perimeter of the traditional office is a pain-point many businesses struggle to address. When evaluating a mobile ECM solution, select one that offers secure access to corporate repositories. Ensure document access is granted in a seamless, secure fashion via unique URLs and/or password-protected and encrypted attachments.
Usability is another critical feature that determines mobile ECM application adoption and success. Web and digital experiences must mimic those produced from standard, onsite software programs.
Mobile ECM has enjoyed a long and distinguished track record in field service, providing representatives with mobile access to customer account history, equipment, service contracts, schematics, and so on.
Today it’s being applied to a growing list of enterprise use cases. Take, for example, the sales person, who desires to log their expense reports, or access CRM records while visiting a client account. Or the insurance claims adjuster who can access forms and information, and append time- and date-stamped photos, on the scene to document an auto or property loss.
Increasingly photography is being incorporated to business processes, to validate conditions or circumstances, and /or document before and after scenarios. Mobile devices with integrated cameras make it easy to support these requirements and incorporate images into forms, case files and records.
In all these scenarios, mobile ECM helps support improved immediacy of information access, greater detail and accuracy in reporting, since representatives can capture information on the scene as opposed to waiting to download information upon their return to the office, and less lag time in moving processes forward.
Mobile ECM initiatives can empower users to collaborate and execute anywhere, anytime.
If you don’t already have a mobility strategy in place with a mobile ECM component, head to the drawing board and get one implemented. Fast. This is a global phenomenon you must be a part of to remain relevant in today’s digital dominant business era.