The Churn in the ECM Market
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platforms have outgrown their monolithic productized existence. They are now dynamic mix of technologies; addressing multifarious business needs an evolution lead by disruptive technologies such as social, mobile, cloud and analytics.
These changes have also altered the state, the ECM market. Emerging trends such as Social and Mobile ECM are major attractions and leading consolidation and churn within the market. Ease of ECM adoption through smarter integration is becoming another governing factor.
The bigger challenge however lies for enterprises wanting to adopt ECM platforms or scale up their existing investment. As Enterprise Content Management offerings evolve, navigating to the right strategy and product can become an uphill task for most enterprises. To arrive at the right juncture enterprises need to focus on two things:
- Understanding the emerging trends in ECM
- Creating an enterprise level strategy for ECM adoption and success
This post has been divided in a series of two. The first part will cover emerging trends and the second will discuss strategies for creating ECM success.
Emerging Trends in ECM
It serves well to understand that ECM is no longer about information capture. How content gets into an ECM is passé. The paradigm has shifted to how the content is being used to serve enterprise needs. While Information Capture, Document Storage and Records Management remain at the core of ECM technologies, there are some other technological and consumer facets which are making remarkable impact on ECM architecture.
- Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC)capabilities
- Deeper integration for faster adoption of ECM
Social Mobile Analytics Cloud
Social Media Platforms have become the modern day communication drop-boxes. They are dynamic tools in the hand of individual customers through which they are communicating and offering valuable feedback. The impact this content can have on business is substantial and it makes sense to manage it well. Social Content Management Applications expand the scope of garnering content from social networks through sentiment analysis and content analysis. They add richness to the information with their ability to capture contextual metadata.
Social ECM also expands to include enabling and leveraging Social Interactions at an enterprise level. This includes facilitating collaboration between stakeholders through Discussion Forums, Q&A, Bulletin Boards and intra office chats. This encourages skill based expert identification and process designing.
The evolution of mobile devices and their role in altering the paradigms of communication and collaboration is remarkable. As businesses and employees become more mobile, enabling the entire paraphernalia of ECM systems on mobile devices was a natural move for most ECM players. Enterprises can now manage the entire lifecycle of content, right from capture to disposal using mobile devices.
As mobile technology grows to be more comprehensive, ECM providers will be empowered to offer more features which at some point may surpass those offered through conventional access methodologies.
Enterprise leaders will always be interested in the use and performance of enterprise content. The foremost expectation from an ECM is to manage unstructured content. The demand for analytics to gauge how content is processed, managed and digested across the length and breadth of a business a very logical want. Actionable insights from content will enable enterprise shape decisions better and accurately.
With the growth in adoption of SaaS technologies, enterprises are migrating to Cloud based platforms and solutions. ECM on Cloud provides the flexibility of fast deployment, robust information security and drastic reduction in costs. It combines the benefit of cloud computing with lower infrastructure expenses with the advantages of ECM.
Integration with other enterprise applications is steadfastly becoming a deciding factor in ECM investments. Business leaders and users will always be interested in a ECMs ability to interact and work with other enterprise applications.
Legacy applications can range from an ERP system to existing content management systems and repository. Leveraging open-standards such as Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) has become the order of the day. At an enterprise level a CMIS complaint ECM will have no problem in facilitating and orchestrating content across existing content repositories, between applications and federated repositories (interaction between multiple repositories while presenting a single interface to the user).
The Key to ECM Success
Each of these trends will empower enterprises to leverage more out of their ECM investment. Mobile, Cloud and deeper integration will create greater ease of adoption. While they surely take capabilities to the next level, the success of an ECM implementation largely remains under the purview of how successfully enterprise users warm up to its benefits.
Business leaders alongside and investment need to create a strategy and an evangelization process to ensure that the ECM investment leveraged to the fullest. The second part of this blog discusses some points which can help!