Channel Marker

Feb 11 2013   2:14AM GMT

Why you should watch changing tides in information access

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

In the future, you can’t count on your company’s employees or potential customers to use a personal computer when accessing content. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re talking about a Facebook page, a company Web site or video information services.

Exhibit A: Close to 40 percent of those surveyed by NPD Group for its Connected Intelligence report use tablet devices or smartphones to access content, including the Internet and Facebook.

What does this mean? For one thing, they are relying less on their desktop or notebook to navigate information. Specifically, 27 percent of both tablet and smartphone users have cut back on their Internet and Facebook usage on personal computers, reports NPD.

Since we all know personal habits have a way of creeping into workplace concerns, trends in content management are something technology solution providers should monitor carefully.

There are several ways it could become an issue for you or your customers.

For a start, the push toward tablets and smartphones means Web sites needs to be (at a minimum) optimized for mobile viewing. If your company communicates with its customers via a customer portal, has it taken the time to optimize it for mobile access? Do enough of them use mobile devices to warrant a specific mobile application? Does your organization support mobile application development skills.

Within your own organization, consider how information viewing options might affect the way that manuals and technical information are distributed. Are they available on tablets, where they can be managed and kept up-to-date far more frequently? Could you keep your technicians closer to how when they are earning new certifications, by allowing them to learn and verify new skills online via video or digital courseware?

Although it seems a bit of a stretch, it may also be time to start evaluating applications and technologies that connect mobile devices with televisions, for video conferencing or streaming purposes, NPD suggests. That’s because approximately 21 percent of consumers are starting to connect their mobile devices to televisions, via screen-sharing services such as AllShare or Miracast.

Although the current applications envisioned for these technologies aren’t very business-like in nature, that could change over time as people begin experimenting.

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