The Mobile Content Management (MCM) Software Market
Mobile content management (MCM) is a key component of a multi-pronged enterprise mobility management (EMM) approach.
This software helps companies manage data and content when it is accessed from a corporate network from mobile devices, an increasingly common occurrence in the modern working world.
Mobile content management (MCM) software
MCM software allows content to be accessed and shared securely from mobile devices connected to enterprise networks. With MCM, employees can view necessary content on any enterprise-approved devices, including devices permitted under bring your own device (BYOD) mobile policies.
MCM is also known as mobile information management (MIM).
How does MCM work?
While each software offering is unique, MCM tools typically focus on four primary mechanisms for protecting enterprise mobile data.
Multi-channel content delivery
Multi-channel content delivery gives enterprises the ability to manage a centralized content repository. Content held in this location can be shared by the enterprise to enterprise-approved mobile devices. Usually, the data is stored in raw formats like .docx, .xlx, .ppt, .PDF, .txt and so on.
Content access control
Access control is a central function of any MCM program. These tools allow enterprises to control who can access what content. For example, content access control can regulate:
Specific user restrictions
Time-specific access limitations
Read-only access across some data and deeper access permissions across other data
A range of authentication options from basic password protection to IP authentication and mobile identity management (MIM) tools
Because of the specialized nature of mobile display restrictions, MCM needs to be able to work across a wide range of target devices. To achieve this, MCM software typically includes built-in multi-client and/or multi-site tools that can deliver multiple versions of content from single domains so they can be displayed on a variety of devices.
Location-based content delivery
MCM software that includes GPS capabilities can allow enterprises to further restrict and monitor enterprise data usage. The current physical location of a device can be a determining factor for MCM software when it is evaluating whether to grant access to specific data.
When searching for an MCM solution, seek out products that include features that best fit specific enterprise needs. There are many options available in the marketplace offering features like:
Tools that allow teams to safely distribute and collaborate using corporate data
Remote updating capabilities
Remote wiping capabilities
Password protection oversight, including the ability to erase passwords remotely
Data leakage protection (DLP) features
Role-based administrative privileges controls
Data containerization features that include password protection
Centralized content distribution abilities
Control over individual data file permissions
Keep in mind that MCM products can focus exclusively on just a few features or offer a wide range of capabilities. Some vendors provide products that can grow with the enterprise, which can mean a lower initial outlay for enterprises just beginning to develop their EMM policies.
Benefits of MCM
Given the expected increase in remote work setups among large enterprises, MCM can greatly benefit modern enterprises that need to keep teams connected from anywhere. In the post-COVID economy, we can expect to see a fourfold increase of working-from-home days among the average enterprise workforce, according to Stanford.
Here are a few of the most attractive potential enterprise benefits MCM can provide:
Centralized management of encrypted, secure data through a dashboard interface
IT teams have better control over mobile data usage monitoring and employee access from BYOD devices
Remote file storage within the managed devices of users
Remote push capabilities to enterprise-approved devices
Mass distribution of corporate files to multiple devices simultaneously
Directly shared content is superior to ad-hoc sharing of materials — for example, when employees (even those with explicit privileges to access data) try to work around draconian data sharing restrictions by copying/pasting data into emails
MCM use cases
Mobile content access is an integral part of every workday for millions of enterprises, whether that data is employee or customer facing. Just about every industry has a need for some kind of MCM approach. Here are a few of the most common.
Remote worker access to enterprise data
The most likely use case scenario for enterprises seeking MCM solutions is to provide safe, uniform access to enterprise data for employees working from home. Whether employees are using their own devices or company-issued devices, MCM software helps to safeguard data as it travels across the internet, away from the safer realm of enterprise on-premises networks.
When enterprises need to grant customers and clients access to specific enterprise data, MCM streamlines the process of keeping vulnerable data segregated from the data customers should be able to view and/or manipulate. For example, company apps that link to customer accounts need to grant selective access to credentialed customers while protecting other company data.
Mobile access to data on BYOD devices
Employees are increasingly expected to be ready and available to companies at virtually any time, regardless of location, thanks to the convenience of mobile devices. MCM can give enterprises extra security assurance when employees use their own smartphone or tablet to access the company’s network.
The mobile content management market
MarketsandMarkets estimates the global mobile content management market at around $6 billion, up from around $2 billion in 2015, a CAGR of about 23%.
MCM is used by enterprise clients, large government entities, health care systems, and a growing list of large-scale operations where sensitive data and content need to be safeguarded on mobile devices.
TrustRadius identifies these MCM software products among its 10 most rated:
Alfresco Content Services
MCM and EMM
MCM can play a vital role within a comprehensive EMM approach, especially when it is used alongside mobile identity management (MIM) and mobile device management (MDM).
MCM ensures that enterprise data is accessible only through authorized devices and applications. Some MCM software can even prevent enterprise data from being stored on third-party cloud services while ensuring it is accessible to those who need it.
MCM helps SOC teams tackle several significant security risks, including issues with so-called shadow IT, where employees download unauthorized software to the same devices used to access enterprise data. MCM helps to containerize enterprise data so that it cannot be accessed by unrecognized or expressly prohibited software and apps.
Another emerging area where EMM security can be compromised is related to the rise in social media use among employees while using BYOD devices. Again, MCM helps to shield enterprise data from being seen by these sources. Some MCM software can prevent employees from pasting enterprise data anywhere outside authorized programs, as well.
Keeping enterprise data safe in the age of mobility
To garner the most benefit from enterprise data, companies need to be able to provide reliable, safe access to the appropriate stakeholders, who are increasingly performing their roles on mobile devices.
MCM is a singular aspect of EMM, and often overlooked as a key component. However, considering what is at stake, it’s fair to say MCM is actually among the most important.
When enterprises give less significance to the role MCM can play to their overall EMM programs, they run headfirst into increased risks for expensive data breaches and regulatory compliance failure. Safeguarding company data must be at the top of the priority list for any enterprise SOC.