Ian Story,Senior Product Manager - Enterprise Content Management,IBM
Something struck me the other day - I haven't used a thumb drive in a long time. These little devices used to be staples of our digital lives, and I'm sure I still have one or two floating around in my briefcase somewhere, yet I couldn't tell you the last time I needed one. In today's connected world, I access content when I need to, where I need to, from whatever device I happen to be on. If I need to send a presentation to someone, I share it via a secure link, instead of copying it onto a thumb drive that will get me into trouble if it falls into the wrong hands. If I need to take a document with me on the road, I sync it to my mobile device, or pull it down for offline editing, and never think twice about it.
I don't think this is just me, in fact, I know it is not - in my job as a Product Manager here at IBM, I talk with our clients and prospects many times a week. They are all doing the same sort of thing, and for our customers, it has never been easier to work with your content wherever you happen to be, thanks to IBM Content Navigator. Content Navigator includes Worklight - our cross platform mobile toolkit; it also includes IBM QuickFile for secure file transfer of any document from your ECM system to anyone in the world. Better still, Content Navigator is available on whatever device you need it on, whether it's an iPhone or your laptop in Microsoft Office or an HTML5 web browser on the latest tablet - providing secure access to your content wherever and whenever you need it. And, with both the Worklight toolkit and a native app for iOS, to say nothing of the aforementioned HTML5 UI that works on any modern mobile device, making your content mobile has never been easier.
So, while the thumb drive is dead, I'm not mourning its loss. I'm happy to not worry about losing the latest secret documents on a tiny thumb drive that may fall out of my pocket in a taxi (at least if I lose my mobile phone, I can remote wipe it). Besides, think of all that extra flash memory manufacturing capacity that can be put to a much better use, like building solid state drives for computers, tablets and phones - giving them that instant-on feeling and being much more rugged and less prone to drives failing. Imagine what the world would be like without solid state drives, with a big excess of flash memory capacity that was being built for thumb drives, sitting around with no place to go...ever plugged a thumb drive into your iPad? Nope, me neither. Yet, on a daily basis, I work with my latest documents, collaborating with my peers all around the world, right there on my iPad, even when I'm disconnected on a plane (which happens less and less these days, in-flight Wi-Fi is almost as cool as Content Navigator). Long live mobile enterprise content management, good bye and good riddance to all the amusing keychain drives with various blinking lights, logos, shaped like little animals and so forth.
And last but not least, since I mentioned the boon of in-flight Wi-Fi above, it made me think of going places on airplanes. If you're still reading this, you should be planning to take a plane (or if you're close enough, some other form of transportation like a taxi or ride a horse or something) to Las Vegas in November, to our Information On Demand conference.
Here are some sessions that you should not miss.
ECG-1536A: IBM Content Navigator: The Enterprise Content Management User Experience,Date:6th November 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM, Mandalay Bay H
EIC-1664A: Creating Enterprise Content Management Mobile Applications Using IBM Worklight and IBM Content Navigator,Date: 6th November, 2013, 3:00 PM-4:00 PM,Location: Lagoon AB
EIC-1788A: Enterprise Content Management Mobile Update and Roundtable, Date: 6th November, 2013,10:00 AM-11:00 AM,Location: Lagoon GH
You can see some of this amazing enterprise content management technology for yourself and also a featured demonstration of ECM and mobile in the ECM keynote at the conference.
I'll be there, maybe I'll even hand out a few antique thumb drives as souvenirs - relics from a day long gone!