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Is managing and securing content distribution and access by mobile devices a challenge? Of course! So it comes as no surprise that security and control constantly come out on top of the list of CIO’s concerns with mobile devices in the workplace while mobile device management (MDM) remains an increasingly popular commodity. If the events and webinars I’ve attended over the past few months are any indication, we are seeing more MDM vendors move more and more towards apps and content management.

This reflects the true challenge I’ve been seeing – the mobilization of the enterprise. It’s not just about securing hardware and connections, but truly about enabling a new way of working. The workforce is not only more mobile, but also needs adaptable tools to enable new devices and new ways of working everywhere at anytime.

Mobilizing the enterprise is about providing a new breed of enterprise applications that take full advantage of emerging devices and mobile work habits, providing increased productivity and playing by the new rules set by the consumer experiences that the enterprise workforce experiences daily.

Does it mean offering consumer applications? Take for example, Dropbox. It works so well for managing personal files, sharing with friends and family plus connecting content to Facebook, but it isn’t the right answer for businesses. While it reinforces the consumer experience, we’ve all seen what the consequences can be when businesses start to rely too heavily on consumer apps to meet the existing enterprise user experience gap.

Great, so where do you start? Do you throw everything away and start from scratch with new mobile vendors? With the right core systems in place, mobile can and should simply be a natural extension of your enterprise. This means systems don’t have to lay wide open in the cloud exposing useful documents and processes to all mobile users, you could adopt a hybrid cloud system to selectively and securely sync information outside the firewall for specific users and projects.

Equally important, starting today you don’t have to start your app from scratch. Now generally available, the Alfresco mobile SDK paired with our API can help you and your teams create customer solutions that unleash the full potential of your mobile workforce.

Using an SDK that smartly connects to an existing back-end like Alfresco, the bulk of the work is already done for you; securing access, ensuring consistency and tracking. This gives you back valuable time to concentrate on providing the level of consumer experience the end user has come to expect.

All businesses are unique and what you do differently is what makes you competitive. Building on top of a simple and powerful SDK, you can dedicate resources to carry those advantages to your mobile workforce. How do you collect information, track assets, initiate and follow processes, communicate? Do your mobile devices enable useful features that no off-the-shelf app takes advantage of?

With our news today of the general availability of Alfresco’s SDK, you can finally extend your SDK-based app to build a unique solution that will truly put you ahead of the competition. Now that’s what mobilizing your enterprise should be all about.


About the author

Marc Dubresson

After 15 years at Apple Inc. managing consumer products in the UK and then Cupertino, Marc returned to Europe and joined Alfresco as Director of Product Management, covering everything mobile. Alfresco's fresh approach to enterprise software (both open source and useable!) is the perfect medium to consumerize IT.... not just blog about it!

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