Sunday, February 12, 2012

Upgrade to More Simple and Other ECM Trends

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Churn = Change in ECM
In general, IT and business stakeholder churn influences the evolution of ECM systems. As business units become more savvy as to what can be done for free in the public domain (ie, Facebook), they demand the same for proprietary software. For example, Documentum burned through a number of costly search engine deals before settling on open source Lucene. On the flip side, the business is preferring Sharepoint for its ease of use.

CIO Revolving Door
In the middle is IT, contracting development of custom ECM tools and integrations, pushing for automation (without a clue as the intricacies of the business processes--usually), thus burning its bridges within their own companies. Then the CIO leaves or is fired. The new CIO "knows" how to deal with the issues (Laughing at the CIO) which changes the information architecture stack under the guise of innovation or an inflection point.

More Simple Configuration
Microsoft Sharepoint started the trend towards simplification by copying everything that was out there at the time and being smart about configuration. To counteract this trend, OpenText is hopelessly behind and Documentum bought D2 to leapfrog toward Sharepoint. This direction will lead to more emphasis on change management as companies realize how disorganized their content is. Like Sharepoint sites gone wild, enterprise content has been built business unit by business unit, even if it was centralized. Simple configuration will mean more consistent rules and policies around metadata and taxonomy.

Consistency = Lower Costs
Consistency will help all ECM systems simplify their compliance efforts. Records managers will have to streamline their complexity, lawyers will get better at mandating search and destroy rules in order to avoid potential lawsuits, and IT will take one more step back in terms of their influence in providing information technology direction.

Leaner IT
IT departments will basically become shells of what they were. Technical architects will be specialized based on industry. Outsourcing will turn into product development, not customization. Information Architecture will take on a new, more important role as the roles of the IT Director will diminish.

Secure Knowledge for $$$
This is a long shot, but we'll see: When a generic UI for information architecture and content is created--a Facebook for Content--more focus will be on security and monetizing a company's content and knowledge. Sharing information for bucks will happen, however the stealing of information, ideas, and software will have to be dealt with. As a publicly owned Facebook is required to grow its investor's money it will buy other content and knowledge from outside sources. As ECM system owners realize that the content they have and the analysis that they learn from it could be just as valuable as their core business, they will partner up with the likes of Google or Facebook for this new revenue generator. 

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