Content Management Systems: Perceptions of ECM are Shifting

As the business landscape changes, a different vocabulary regarding content management systems is emerging. And, perceptions of the term Enterprise Content Management (ECM) are shifting as well. Afterall, we live in a world where, as Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft noted,

“Information technology is at the core of how you do your business and how your business model itself evolves.”

Why is this?

Organizations weighing the capabilities of their ECM systems against their evolving needs are feeling more than a little boxed in. Companies are continually pressured to grow while operating lean, pushing leaders to examine what business processes can be optimized and which departments can most benefit from implementing document automation solutions.

(Learn more about this in this Industry Watch on designing an intelligent workplace.)

Plus, with business information becoming a double-edge sword, managing records effectively while preventing sensitive content from getting into the wrong hands, becomes critical. Companies are realizing a greater need for control. Enterprises that once considered creating information governance initiatives to be a waste of time and resources are scrambling to create policies to improve the way their content is monitored, used and stored in order to reduce compliance, regulatory and litigation risks.

Companies turning to cloud content management systems are realizing this environment offers benefits traditional ECM systems can’t – like flexibility to access business data across devices and applications at anytime, scalability when needed and the ability to share documents with other team members.

New names

As a result, industry publications, analysts and even organizations are replacing the term “ECM” with varied names that better describe this new topography.  For example, Gartner refers to this evolution as “content services.” AIIM uses the term “content management”. Box refers to its offering as a “cloud content management” solution while Forrester talks about “business content services.”

Organizations are seeking simple, yet nimble content management systems that are easy to use and implement. These solutions, which can be either in the cloud or on-premise, tend to be lightweight. They address the productivity and control issues while possessing the ability to integrate with other line-of-business (LOB) or customer resource management (CRM) systems. This flexibility enables organizations to “mix and match” when building content management systems that are tailored to meet the needs of the organization as a whole while also addressing the specific use cases of varying departments.

How do I participate?

If you’re reading this and thinking, “We’ve just spent a decade investing in our ECM infrastructure! Are you telling me we’ve got to scrap our technology, change our processes and completely start over?”

Don’t freak out just yet. The quick answer is “no.” Creating momentum and achieving success means taking inventory of what you have then examining what’s working and what’s not. Assess your organization’s and your customers’ future needs and goals. Then create a plan to build the type of content management systems needed based upon your answers.

In some cases, remaining on-premise with a traditional ECM solution may be the answer. Or perhaps you’re realizing your organization would be best served to implement a hybrid solution to manage content, instead of making a full-on committment to the cloud.

In short, how you manage your content needs in the future will evolve. These new terms are simply a new way of thinking about what comes next.

Need help assessing or planning your for future content management systems? Get the answers you need.

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