Going mobile in the middle of the pack, lesson 1
Monday, 26th March 2012
What can libraries and information centres learn from publishers about mobile strategy? A lot, as it turns out. This first of three Features provides hard-won lessons from publishers that information centres can use to move their own mobile efforts forward.
A recent speaking slot at Computers in Libraries on mobile strategies gave me the opportunity to think differently about everything FreePint Research has learned about mobile content over the past two years.
My other recent presentations have reported "state of the industry" for libraries and information centres seeking to put external, licensed content onto the mobile devices of their workers. I gathered this information through interviews with information managers and published in the FreePint Research Report: Enterprise Market for Mobile Content 2012. Although many of the interviews also touched on the need to get internal information to users, we tended to talk mainly about the challenges, costs and requirements of external content.
For CIL, however, participants wanted to hear how to put their own resources onto mobile devices – what did a library or information centre need to think about to create a mobile strategy for its own content?
In other words, how does an information centre become an effective publisher?
In preparation for the session, I realised that FreePint's work with publishers on their mobile strategies was equally applicable "across the aisle", as it were. As the board chair for the Content Division of the Software and Information Industry Association, I'm constantly talking with other publishers about their hard-won knowledge about publishing for mobile users. Through VIP's product reviews, our researchers have explored the good, the bad and the ugly with regard to mobile applications by a range of publishers.
This insight is critical for any organisation now thinking for the first time (or thinking strategically for the first time) about providing its users with mobile content. In fact, it's one of the great advantages of waiting for the second or third wave of development – let someone else take the risks at the bleeding edge of technology!
Here, then, are three of the key lessons, each as a separate Features article. If your organisation, library, information centre or department is facing increasing pressure to "make it mobile", these lessons can help you avoid expensive and time-consuming errors.
Know the use case
Although mobile development had already been active, the first flush of excitement over tablet computers really pushed a lot of publishers into a development frenzy. Suddenly everyone had an app... and everyone wanted VIP to review the app.
But what was the point of the app? What did a user want or need to do away from a desk, with specific content, which required certain functionality accessible via the mobile device?
Not enough publishers could answer that question with clarity. And so many apps developed early in the adoption cycle did not enjoy widespread uptake among enterprise users. The use case simply wasn't there.
Today, publishers have gotten a lot smarter about understanding use cases for mobile applications. They've learned (or remembered) to ask questions about how, when and why the content is business-critical.
Those new to mobile deployment need to dig into the workflow of potential users. Do they need:
- All content a desktop user might want, or only a subset?
- The same functionality or will limited do?
- Access to the content in its raw state or in a post-processing state?
- The ability to incorporate one source of mobile information with another?
To be sure, these are basic questions that must underlie all product development. It was only the blindness that can accompany disruptive technology that briefly eclipsed good sense.
Get help on applying these lessons in your own organisation: email me at email@example.com for information.
- Blog post title: Going mobile in the middle of the pack, lesson 1
- Link to this page
- View printable version
- Going mobile in the middle of the pack, lesson 3
Wednesday, 28th March 2012
- Going mobile in the middle of the pack, lesson 2
Tuesday, 27th March 2012
- Who is the publisher? When the enterprise becomes a publisher
Wednesday, 22nd February 2012
"My stakeholders finally understand what we do" – Senior Information Manager, manufacturing industry
Work on information strategy in 2022 with Jinfo if you want to:
- Measure, communicate and improve the ROI of information
- Consistently dedicate time to strategy, despite competing demands
- Build on methods tested and proven in other organisations.
For more on how your organisation benefits and how to get started, check out our "Spotlight on strategy".
- There's no information strategy without stakeholder engagement
Wednesday, 1st December 2021
- Measure the impact of information with Value Chain analysis
Monday, 22nd November 2021
- You know more than you think you do
Tuesday, 16th November 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step five - your evolution work plan)
Wednesday, 11th August 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step four - assess your team’s characteristics)
Tuesday, 22nd June 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step three - envision your Known Fors)
Thursday, 10th June 2021
- Community deck - negotiation role-play for content licensing professionals
Monday, 18th October 2021
- Community deck - teeing up value-based budget conversations for content licensing
Thursday, 30th September 2021
- Community deck - Centre of Excellence - make progress on your evolution, with your peers
Friday, 23rd July 2021
- Stakeholder engagement strategy – tips and tools (Community) Tuesday, 22nd February 2022
- Overcoming the barriers to progress on information strategy (Community) Tuesday, 11th January 2022
- Investment philosophies for strategic portfolio management (Community) Thursday, 2nd December 2021
- Value Chain (step five - putting the Value Chain together) (Webinar) Tuesday, 31st August 2021
- Value Chain (step four - measurement - selecting and collecting data) (Webinar) Monday, 30th August 2021
- Value Chain (step three - your contributions to the Value Chain) (Webinar) Friday, 27th August 2021