WCM in a Mobile-only world

  • 23-Apr-2015

While many enterprises debate between "Mobile on par with Web” and “Mobile-First,” some live in a “Mobile-Only” world. For some organizations (e.g., Uber), this makes eminent sense. For many others, such as Flipkart in India, mobile-only has become a strategic gambit.

The jury is still out as to whether or not this is the right approach for other types of organizations, but let's look at some system implications.  In particular, if all your digital engagement happens through a mobile device, do you still need a web content & experience management system (WCM)?

Multi-channel means a lot more now

The answer is a big "yes." However, those WCM tools need to have specific capabilities.

Many WCM tools have been tom-toming about their multi-channel delivery capabilities for a long time now. Earlier, multi-channel usually meant ability to deliver to multiple sites (e.g., public facing website and employee facing Intranet) or at best the ability to repurpose experiences using a simplified template to make it palatable on mobile devices.

However, channel has completely taken on a new meaning now. In an omni-channel world you not only have to address mobile devices of varying sizes and capabilities but also consider watches, bands, glasses, and interfaces still to come -- not to mention a plethora of distribution arteries.

More than WCM

First, recognize that for "mobile-only" -- placing all your bets on the mobile channel -- you will almost certainly need more than a WCM platform.

You'll also likely need specialized mobile delivery tools with capabilities such as mobile middleware, notifications, device adaptation and so forth to be able to service those devices.

What should you look for in a WCM platform

However, your WCM will still be the place where your editors and marketers will craft content and experiences for people in mobile environments.

Consequently, you'll want to look closely at a key set of capabilities in any WCM tool. At the very minimum, you should look for:

  • Ability to publish in a decoupled mode: you may need to push raw content out to mobile devices and not HTML streams, and therefore...
  • Availability of APIs that can easily publish to external applications, including native and hybrid apps
  • Ability to preview content on mobile devices: Content creators should be able to preview content as it would appear on mobile devices. And this preview should not be limited to 2 or 3 broad, generic categories (e.g., phone, tablet) but there should be facility to preview across a wide range of specific devices and potentially apps, too
  • Special workflows targeted at mobile delivery
  • Ability to decompose and target content and experiences for different devices without duplicating effort

We've been having some interesting conversations with our subscribers on this topic, and increasingly focus on mobile-specific capabilities in our WCM evaluation research. Download a sample and see for yourself.

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