If one market is evolving, it is that of enterprise content management. Here, we’re clearly seeing a number of trends, which are offering those in the sector many possibilities for improved efficiency and decreasing operational costs. Trends are there to learn from, but first we need to identify them. Let’s take a look at some of the most important.
- Content Chaos
Although the total amount of unstructured content in organizations has rapidly been growing for a number of years, we are now at the point where this problem is really hurting many organizations, in terms of business continuity and direct economic impact. Organizational leaders realize more and more that working with unstructured content is inefficient and chaotic. For example, file shares and email archives result in costs and potentially severe risks for those they are designed to help. Because of this, gaining control of unstructured content is becoming more important and is moving up the agenda of many IT and information managers. To control content chaos, first insight must be obtained into the actual quantity of content while also factoring for the potential future growth of new content in the organization, risks and quality of the information.
- Content Service Bus
The creation of a content service bus is a main trend of recent times for enterprise content managers. More and more we see that the larger organizations are choosing to maintain their different and various content solutions; sometimes for legacy reasons, but more often for practical reasons. The applications serve a specific purpose and specific departments have specific requirements. However, the vision to bring all content-related processes together in one central enterprise content management system is outdated. Want to connect content and apply records management to all content if needed? This can be arranged via a content service bus, which is connected to all the content repositories and the records management solution.
- Unified Content View
Content is created in different applications, with different metadata, but still a unified view on all content is desired; for example, via search or a dashboard that shows the quality of the content. Uniformity is essential. Integrate all content applications achieves uniformity by recognizing double versions of documents and metadata enrichment.
The cloud alone is not so much of a trend any more as it’s become standard technology, but the cloud is now taken more seriously by those in the ECM market. We are seeing a large movement of on premise solutions to their cloud counterparts, like from SharePoint on premise to SharePoint online (Office 365). Additionally, other providers are making the move towards the cloud, and cloud services for collaboration, sync and share are being used increasingly in enterprise ECM architectures. One explanation for this trend may be that there is less resistance by IT leaders toward cloud applications and they are increasingly trusting in the security of these solutions. Thus, the costs and benefits of the cloud is becoming clearer.
- Phasing Out File Shares
Using file shares to work together with content within organizations is still very popular. Yet we see that more and more organizations are saying goodbye to their file shares and replacing them with different systems. Not surprising, because sticking to the use of the file share for storage of files has many disadvantages, such as having multiple versions in circulation, accidentally removing documents and not having a clear process as to whether the organization complies with legislation and regulations regarding the storage of sensitive documents. To totally remove an organization’s dependence on file share, much must be done. The first step is analyzing the current file shares to gain a better understanding of what data can be safely removed, how the file share is used and what is relevant for a possible migration to a replacement system.
- File Sync and Share
In addition to the file shares, there is currently an increase in the use of file sync and share solutions. The main reason is that these platforms, such as Box and Evernote, have improved their content management functionalities and have become enterprise-worthy solutions. The integration of these solutions in content lifecycle solutions, process supporting applications and archives make them indispensable in the content application architecture.
- Content Analytics
The functionality of content analytics solutions is becoming more intelligent, faster and more mainstream. Automatic classification of documents can be used for the benefit of metadata tagging and search. Patterns and trends that are hidden in the content can be recognized and are used to acquire new valuable insights and improve processes. Sensitive content can be detected and can automatically trigger a working process to avoid risks.
- Content in context
Imagine this, you are working on a new product, you are dealing with a case, you’re doing a project in the appropriate supporting system and when you act, the right content is presented to you. The content is placed in the appropriate context and presented at the right moment, in the right process to the right person. This is possible by using analytics, auto-classification on content, self-learning features, connecting all the different sources and building profiles of users. With the ultimate goal: The intelligent organization where all content is optimally deployed for business processes.