To Build or to Buy:
On the flipside, mobile content management is not concerned with controlling the entire device, just with the administration of a subset of data on the device, usually within one app. Primarily, your MCM system addresses the challenges of moving content onto and off of mobile devices.
As workforces move away from a wired, desktop world, it’s never been more critical for enterprises to manage and deliver content that can be easily consumed on mobile devices. With mobile content management comes a host of challenges, from data security to constrained networks. But the upsides of handling your MCM system effectively far outweigh the associated risks. Seeing as mobile devices are commonplace in today’s world, businesses are looking to utilize smartphones and tablets to securely share content at blazing fast speeds.
Your MCM system is responsible for providing employees near and far with secure access to corporate data on any and all endpoint devices. Whether it’s sharing a video message from the CEO or distributing training documents across all business locations, your MCM enables you to manage all corporate content through a centralized system.
2020 taught us a lot. For businesses, it revealed the importance of having an effective mobile content management (MCM) system in place to empower mobile workforces. Mobile content management varies from mobile device management (MDM), in that MDM gives your IT department the ability to install apps, track for inventory, and even remotely erase devices in the event it is lost or stolen...
MCM systems are now a critical piece of an organization’s mobile infrastructure. This is especially true of organizations with deskless frontline employees needing these content resources available offline immediately. It’s no wonder why IT architects are prioritizing the need to implement an enterprise MCM into their mobile infrastructure in order to handle the ever-growing volume of their mobile workforce.
This begs the question of whether it makes more sense to build your own custom proprietary system that’s managed and maintained in-house or to buy a third-party solution that can be integrated into your existing infrastructure?
Let’s take a deeper dive into the world of MCMs, covering both the pros and cons of building versus buying mobile content management systems. After reading, you’ll be well-positioned to chart the best course of action for your business that ensures long-term growth and success.
Charting the Right Course
for Your Mobile Content Management System Needs
Table of Contents
Table of contents
The Time to Take Charge of Your MCM System is Now
The global mobile content management software market is expected to reach $123 billion by 2026, increasing by an annual growth rate of 16.7%.
Enterprise organizations reported that nearly 80% of their mobile content is unstructured.
42% of organizations believe they don’t have the right technology in place to effectively manage mobile content across their business.
To build or to buy a mobile content management system, that is the question. Whether the recent pandemic brought to light just how badly your business needs to optimize its MCM system or you’ve been looking to upgrade your system for quite awhile, there’s never been a more important time to ensure your mobile content management system is in a good place.
When it comes to developing your MCM system, the path you choose will entirely depend on the size and capabilities of your internal team. If you’re a larger enterprise with resources to spare, your IT staff may be able to support the development of a MCM system that’s catered to your particular needs. However, while the upfront costs of building your own system may seem cheaper than the alternative, looks can certainly be deceiving.
On the flipside, SMEs likely don’t have the budget to build out their own MCM system. This requires smaller businesses to outsource the work to a qualified vendor who can deliver an MCM system that’s tailored to their particular needs.
At the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing your organization’s content at scale. Ultimately, making the best decision for your business will require you to do your homework and determine whether building or buying will deliver the most value at the lowest cost.
Multi channel delivery
Lightning fast load times
Sufficient content compression
Your mobile content needs to be compatible with a variety of mobile devices operating on different OS platforms.
Even with large volumes of data, your organization should make sure local devices can engage with content at the click of a button.
Mitigating demand on networks and bandwidth while minimizing the storage footprint requirements.
Relying on the internet may not be enough to ensure employees can access what they need, when they need it. In short, MCM enables you to future-proof your networks
Enable content to be synchronized and stored locally even when devices aren’t being used. Benefit from zero end-user dependency when it comes to downloading, updating, or removing content from the device’s content repository.
MCM should save you money by reducing demand on networks and increasing employee productivity, but also built in a way to enable content formats for use cases that drive education, sales, and product.
Building Your Own MCM System
Businesses need to solve their content control challenges for their mobile workforce in order to give their employees (and individual stores) the best chance at succeeding. You likely have unique content control challenges that require special attention, which makes the appeal of a fully customized MCM system built by your IT team enticing. After all, who wouldn’t want a system built with all the specialized features that can continually be optimized to their exact liking?
Unfortunately, the dream of building out custom MCM solutions is likely unattainable for most businesses. Even if you’re one of the biggest enterprises on the globe, the costs and time associated with building your own MCM system may outweigh the added benefits. The maintenance, infrastructure, resources, and time needed to properly execute an internal MCM system are all monumental tasks. This isn’t to say it can’t be done, but doing it right will be a multi-year endeavor.
Building is expensive
When it comes to the development of your MCM system, upfront costs aren’t all that you need to worry about. When you compare the total budget needed to outsource MCM system development with the initial costs associated with building in-house, you might gravitate towards building your system internally.
But the initial costs are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other risks and costs associated with building your MCM system in-house, from ongoing system optimizations to hiring and training internal employees in efficiently building and maintaining the platform.
Over time, the cost of building in-house will quickly surpass the cost of partnering with a third-party. So before you commit to developing your own MCM system, make sure you have an accurate sense of just how costly the project will be.
The Development Process is Time-Consuming
Developing and deploying an effective MCM system is a time-consuming process. From the start, you need to have experienced, skilled professionals dedicated to building your MCM system to your exact specifications. If your IT department isn’t well-versed in the world of MCM system development, it’ll take them a considerable amount of time to develop the skills and expertise needed to build it properly.
Once your team is up to speed on all things MCM, they’ll then have to work through the trial-and-error process of actually building the system and getting it ready to launch. All in all, the process can take years to build. By the time you’re ready to deploy your MCM system, the features and technologies you’ve built may no longer be relevant or beneficial to your mobile workforce.
As opposed to partnering with an experienced MCM vendor who has already built an intelligent, advanced, and readily implementable system, your organization will have to wait quite a while before you can actually start using your MCM system at scale.
Case Study: Large Coffee Retailer and the Decision to Build
When a large coffee retailer built their business case to decide whether or not to build or buy, they came to a time to market of 75 weeks, and costs totaling more than $2,925,000 when blending their estimated internal engineering hours and additional offshore development.
Considering the lengthy time to market in, the cost of the build itself, and the ongoing annual maintenance of their own MCM platform, the years to break even were past 7 years. This estimate was not considering the increased cost of hiring engineers
with specific competencies around networks, e-learning data, and native mobility.
Ongoing Maintenance is a Full-Time Job
Building your MCM system is only half the battle. Once you’ve deployed your platform across all business locations, your IT team will have to shift gears from a development perspective to a maintenance perspective. Consider how much time it will take your internal staff to maintain your system on a daily basis in order to keep things running smoothly. If your system is interacting with any cloud services or third-party platforms, system maintenance will be even more demanding.
You also need to consider that the cost of maintenance and improvement includes keeping up with changes in content formatting and adding in new content format capabilities. Change happens fast in the content format world, and your team will be tasked with keeping up with that pace of change and ensuring your content is up-to-date.
From deploying updates to addressing bugs, your internal team will have their hands full when it comes to keeping the MCM system firing on all cylinders. Be prepared to either bring in additional staff to support your MCM system over time or accept your internal team’s reduced ability to address other issues within the organization.
Lack of Support & Guidance
Obstacles will inevitably present themselves before, during, and after building your MCM system. From bug fixes to software patches, there are no shortage of system issues that your organization will face. And when they do arise, providing immediate, effective solutions will fall solely on the plate of your IT department.
Additionally, if your IT team hasn’t gone through the process of building out and maintaining an MCM system before, they’ll likely have a harder time navigating the speed bumps that arise along the way. While third-party vendors have spent years honing their craft and understanding the ins and outs of MCM system development, this might be your organization’s first rodeo.
Experience in the realm of MCM systems is invaluable, and if your internal team is lacking in it, it may result in a less-than-stellar end product. Know that when you choose to build your MCM system internally, you won’t have outside resources to call on should you need a helping hand.
The modern workforce grew up with access to any and all information at their fingertips. They’re used to being able to find what they need, when they need it, all in a matter of seconds. If you’re opting to build your MCM system internally, it’s important to understand the bar you must meet in order to satisfy employees and deliver mobile content that is up to their standards.
As described above, a whole lot of effort is needed to effectively build an MCM system internally. Some organizations might be up for the challenge and will have carefully considered the time, money, and resources it will take to successfully see it through.
But for businesses that may not have the bandwidth to support such a massive undertaking, buying an MCM system via a third-party provider may be a superior alternative.
Partnering with an MCM Systems Expert
Having a MCM system built to your exact specifications is probably your preferred option. But the work and costs required to build your own system may not be feasible for your organization. When you opt to partner with an MCM systems provider who can tailor their proven solutions to your personal needs, you’re lifting a heavy burden off your IT team and enabling them to focus on other responsibilities within the organization.
Integrating an MCM platform that has been effectively used by many organizations gives you peace of mind as well as financial freedom. You’ll benefit from working alongside reputable professionals who will assist you at
Hit the ground running
Building an MCM platform in-house requires a certain level of knowledge and expertise. The trial-and-error process of developing the system and gauging its success takes years to work through, and even then you still might not have all the answers. When you opt to buy an MCM system as opposed to build, you’re embracing a fully developed platform that will enable your organization to hit the ground running.
Your chosen vendor has spent years perfecting their platform and sorting out all of its kinks. Not having to deal with the constant optimizations and back peddling when it comes to developing your MCM system will bring back valuable time and money to your organization.
As the future becomes increasingly mobile, you need to make strides today towards empowering your workforce to be the best they can be. If you’re not keen on waiting years to actually realize the value of your in-house MCM system, consider opting for an already established option that your organization can immediately begin benefitting from.
Benefit from Years of Experience
Giving your mobile workforce the means to learn through technology will enable them to drive better results for your organization. Your MCM system plays a vital role in educating your employees and providing them with the information they need, when they need it. While your organization may not be well-versed in developing an MCM platform, there are qualified, experienced businesses out there that exist to improve your mobile workforce enablement efforts.
Not only will your MCM platform vendor bring a technological stack to the table, but they’ll also channel their years of industry experience in order to provide you with proven solutions. Unless you have a time machine, you can’t expect your IT staff to develop the skills and knowledge needed to build an effective MCM system overnight.
Partnering with professionals who have been working for years to perfect their MCM platform solutions enables you to benefit from their expertise and start seeing immediate results.
Guided Expertise from Start to Finish
As mentioned above, when you choose to build your MCM system in-house, it’s entirely on your internal staff to troubleshoot any issues and keep the platform running smoothly. But sometimes, it’s handy to have outside talent help you think outside the box and provide guidance on the best path forward.
The best partners will take the time to understand your organization’s vision, goals, and potential hurdles when it comes to your MCM systems. Acting as an extension of your team, your chosen vendor will be able to work alongside your internal staff and leverage their experience and knowledge to ensure your organization is building the best MCM platform possible.
It’s okay to not have all the answers as you build out your MCM platform. Whether you’re stuck trying to remedy bug fixes or have questions about the long-term stability of your platform, partnering with an MCM systems provider ensures you can call on professional support when you need it.
Major Savings in the Long Run
If the benefits listed above weren’t enough to sell you on the value of outsourcing MCM platform development, then perhaps knowing that buying MCM solutions will be cheaper than building them will do the trick. You can’t just look at the upfront costs associated with building your MCM systems versus the upfront costs of partnering with a vendor. You need to take the bigger picture into account, and consider how costs will add up over time with each option.
From hiring additional employees who can assist with MCM systems management to providing ongoing maintenance that addresses gaps in performance or stability, there are plenty of hidden costs that come with building your MCM platform in-house. On the flipside, working with an outsourced vendor offloads many of those hidden costs and ensures you know exactly what you’ll be paying for throughout the duration of your partnership.
Having a clear idea of your organization’s financial roadmap can allow you to plan more accurately for the years to come. If your budget is tight as-is, buying an MCM platform will inevitably be the cheaper alternative to building your own systems.
When you choose to outsource the work of building your MCM systems, you’re electing to partner with experienced professionals who will take the time to understand your organization and deliver personalized solutions. With a proven partner at your side, you’ll have an easier time empowering your frontline with mobile access to digital content, whenever and wherever team members need it.
Vendors, such as PlayerLync, enable you to provide secure and reliable access to digital content and training through a single, trusted source, available under any network conditions. If your goal is to give every frontline worker access to everything they need to do their job and drive outstanding customer experience, then buying MCM solutions is your best option.
every step of the way, from defining your MCM system needs to providing ongoing support post deployment. You’ll also discover that the costs of partnering with an MCM systems vendor will be far less than the total cost of building in-house.
When you choose to buy an MCM platform, you’re enabling your organization to do more. Let’s look at how outsourcing the work empowers you to deploy quicker, build better, and save more in the long run.
PlayerLync is Mobile Content Management Done Right
If you’re looking for a trusted partner to help you build an effective mobile content management system, look no further than PlayerLync. We give organizations unprecedented control over their digital content for mobile users, and enable your teams to access the material they need, whenever they need it, even in poorly connected network environments.
Take the guesswork out of driving change and let us show you how PlayerLync can help make your business more effective, efficient, and profitable.
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