Many companies are at a crossroads in terms of developing a cohesive enterprise content management strategy -- largely because enterprise content management (ECM) professionals are still adjusting to a whirlwind of disruptive IT trends that are upending how content is consumed, housed and managed.
Figure 1. Only 18% of companies have completed a company-wide ECM implementation.
ECM encompasses strategies, methods and tools to manage, store and deliver documents, files and other content related to organizational processes. Deployed properly, ECM tools can enable organizations to manage just about any content that resides throughout an organization's four walls.
In the era of social media, mobile and cloud computing -- or SoMoClo -- companies are under the gun to better control this information: They need to consolidate and integrate ECM platforms and find ways to properly deliver content to mobile devices as well as social media channels -- all while ensuring information security and adherence with corporate policies. As a result, ECM strategies remain immature, according to a recent report by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).
Many companies are just struggling to keep pace with a problem that has gotten only more complex. "In many ways the problem has grown in three dimensions at once," said Doug Miles, director of market intelligence at AIIM and author of the report. "The enterprise perimeter has grown bigger and wider. The content is more varied, and the management has to encompass all of that and keep it all under control and legal."
In "ECM at the Crossroads: Key Strategy Choices for Universal Content Access," Miles covers several aspects of SoMoClo that signal an evolving content landscape. Here are some of the report's findings:
- While many organizations want to move to a single ECM system, many are still working with several disparate systems to manage documents, images and other enterprise content.
- Enterprises are also considering cloud platforms for content management, but they are also skeptical. They are concerned about information security and governance.
- For those that are considering cloud computing to enhance ECM, the top three drivers are cost reduction (38%), better availability for multisite organizations and improved mobile access outside the firewall.
All in all, enterprises are still struggling to build a cohesive enterprise content management strategy, but their efforts are just beginning. Responding to SoMoClo is still a patchwork effort that requires consolidating splintered systems, developing policies for ECM and delivering content for mobile and social platforms.