Friday, May 28, 2010

Unbundling the silos within ECM

About 10 years ago, all you heard about in IT was consolidate, consolidate, consolidate. Back then consolidate meant economies of scale, bring all website together and save money by utilizing less resources and infrastructure. This really worked in the short run, but news flash, the silos are back: they never went anywhere. The silos I’m talking about are brain trusts of business units that work as a team but don’t really share. The walls of the silos are still there; they are just within the ECM now. ECM itself has built its own silos: silos of services.

So I was reading an article entitled, “How to Save the News” in the Atlantic. It describes the downfall of the traditional newspaper revenue model with the help of the Internet and Google. But Google says it’s on the newspaper’s side. Google’s assessment of the journalism is that the “Bundling was the idea that all parts of the paper came literally in one wrapper—news, sports, comics, grocery-store coupons—and that people who bought the paper for one part implicitly subsidized all the rest…” The internet is forcing newspapers to unbundle their sections, thus their revenue cows.

The idea of unbundling got me thinking about a platform in the enterprise that is allowing business units to manage their content in “silos” without worrying about the cost anymore. The platform is doing to ECM what Google and others are doing to the newspaper industry. The platform integrates well with the OS, productivity software, and the email system. The platform offers most of what ECM offers. The platform licensing model makes sense. The platform is SharePoint.

OK. So how do ECM solution providers unbundled the stack and content that has taken years to design, develop, and deploy? Answer: One business unit at a time. Webservices and CMIS will allow for the slow migration away from the great “consolidation” ideas of the early 2000s. As migration happens, some of the standards and best practices that were too expensive to implement in the past will be implemented. Business units will be able to do what they want in their information “silo”, but will be using standards of metadata, taxonomy, security, business process, and records management. Farming for knowledge will be possible by virtue of these standards. The days of the ubiquitous file share will come to a close, the new platform that will be taken for granted is SharePoint.

ECM vendors will split up their services and sell them separately. For example, workflow services are in desperate need of enterprise integration. ECM software can and should pursue this. Also, records management should be an integrated service with SharePoint. Not the underlying repository. Unbundling and expanding ECM services will be key to ECM’s software strategy.

7 comments:

Jenice said...

Nice post

neetu said...
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Ritu said...

Sharepoint do have several more benefits that we haven't discovered yet. Its the latest emerging technology that will aid humans with more surprising stuff that we have never thought of.
electronic document management

Ritu said...
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Ritu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritu said...
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Ritu said...

NIce