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Cloud computing and increased demand for mobility were major enterprise content management (ECM) trends in 2015.
While on-premises ECM remains the norm, companies are increasingly planning at least some cloud migration, for a variety of reasons. Common motivators include downsizing IT costs, improving mobile support or providing access to more agile, easily updated software.
Cloud file sharing came into its own as an ECM feature in 2015. After years of enterprises coping with their employees’ shadow IT practices -- where they might circumvent IT and bring other applications in-house that are easy to use -- ECM vendors made inroads toward integrating cloud file sync and share (FSS) applications, which users perceive as easier to use than traditional ECM software, into the ECM toolkit.
Cloud file sharing is poised to play an important role in enterprise mobility. Enterprises increasingly need the ability to manage files and documents remotely, regardless of device, and cloud file sharing can facilitate that collaboration. Employees have also favored cloud-based FSS because of their ease of use and ease of implementation; these applications tend to be simpler user interfaces and don’t require IT approval to deploy. Cloud-based FSS has been particularly beneficial for remote and mobile workers by providing access to information, regardless of a worker’s location.
As these technologies mature, the landscape of ECM is changing rapidly, and it presents an opportunity for the ECM market to rethink processes and do things better. But it also creates challenges: For example, Microsoft is pursuing a cloud-first strategy with Office 365, even though its SharePoint collaboration platform has strong market position, and the majority of its users remain on-premises. Balancing those two factors was a key concern for Redmond throughout much of the year.
This guide compiles podcast coverage of the key content management trends and news from 2015, drawing on expert perspectives about the challenges facing ECM and where the industry is headed.
1Cloud drives new ECM trends -
Enterprise content management (ECM) is increasingly using cloud technology to boost mobility and reduce costs. But that trend creates new challenges and opportunities. The flexibility of the cloud is opening doors for businesses to rethink existing practices and create a more interconnected technology ecosystem, but security measures also need to evolve to ensure that information remains safe and compliant outside the company firewall.
The cloud is changing how businesses purchase ECM technology, and it's creating the opportunity for workplaces to become more interconnected and efficient. Continue Reading
The cloud provides cheap storage and greater mobility, but it's also necessitating additional security measures, such as information rights management. Continue Reading
A cloud file sharing service with content-based controls is helping Lawyers Without Borders route sensitive information around the globe securely. Continue Reading
2Mobile perks and challenges -
The proliferation of mobile devices is changing how consumers access the Web, and it's fueling changes in the enterprise sector as well. Companies increasingly demand technology that displays well, regardless of device, and can improve the effectiveness of field workers. But this also creates new security and design challenges as well.
Consumer mobile devices have become standard in most workplaces, but many enterprises haven't developed thorough strategies for managing this shift and ensuring it doesn't put information at risk. Continue Reading
Mobile is facilitating a shift in Web usage, from a desktop publishing environment to providing digital experiences that take into account the user's location, preferences and behavior. Continue Reading
Digital experiences often draw information from multiple applications behind-the-scenes, and mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) can help make that process seamless for users. Continue Reading
Mobile technology that's location and contextually aware can assist workers in the field, by serving up content that anticipate their needs, without a time-consuming search process. Continue Reading
3Cloud drives market changes-
Cloud and mobile support are increasingly becoming company must-haves, which is disrupting the status quo for ECM and cloud-file-share and sync vendors. Cloud file sharing is a major factor here; vendors recognize that enterprises want user-friendly tools, so consumer file sharing services, such as Box, are increasingly becoming part of the ECM market. Similarly, some legacy ECM vendors are struggling in competition with newer, more agile cloud systems, prompting long-established brands to change hands as the market shakes out.
User friendly file-sharing services in many cases carved out a niche within the enterprise as Shadow IT, but integration with other ECM tools was the trend in 2015. Continue Reading
Dell's bid to purchase EMC has fueled speculation that the Documentum ECM platform could be on the market soon. Continue Reading
The EMC deal could help Dell compete in the data center infrastructure market that's being disrupted by the cloud, as enterprises look to downsize. Continue Reading
Only a couple of years after buying it, EMC sells the cloud-based file-sync-and-share app Syncplicity. What does that mean for the company's content management strategy? Continue Reading
4Microsoft's cloud roadmap -
Microsoft is taking a two-track approach to cloud disruption. On one hand, it’s pledging continued support for on-premises users of the SharePoint collaboration platform, but cloud-based Office 365 services are clearly the priority. Microsoft is promoting hybrid SharePoint deployments, which draw on both cloud and on-premises technology, as a bridge between the two tracks, using new cloud collaboration features to encourage cloud migration.
The focus was squarely on new cloud features at Ignite, as Microsoft billed hybrid deployments as the way to improve on-premises SharePoint performance. Continue Reading
Office 365 is deconstructing SharePoint as we know it, and recasting it as a collection of services. Continue Reading
Cloud-based SharePoint Online has gotten mixed reviews, and one expert suggests a key factor is whether users migrated from SharePoint on-premises or started fresh in the cloud. Continue Reading
SharePoint Online appears similar to SharePoint on-premises, but the initial cloud version of the collaboration platform was hampered by stripped down functionality. Continue Reading
5ECM evolves for new needs-
Content management trends
User expectations are increasingly driving content management trends, as vendors strive to facilitate a collaborative, user-friendly workplace. That overarching trend requires seamless integration of multiple systems behind the scenes, as ECM adapts to accommodate new techniques and technologies.
Increased interoperability between office applications is pushing ECM away from its traditional role as a document repository and toward a platform for facilitating collaboration. Continue Reading
Enterprises can refine work processes and improve efficiency by applying the principals of customer journey mapping to internal processes. Continue Reading
Increasingly challenged by consumer file sharing services and products, ECM vendors are making strides toward offerings that balance security with ease of use. Continue Reading
6Collaboration and outreach -
Enterprise social media strategies are still maturing in many cases, but there's reason to believe internal and external social content will need to co-exist with ECM and collaboration systems.
Enterprise social tools are designed to facilitate interoffice collaboration, but user adoption has been a persistent issue. Will that change with Facebook at Work? Continue Reading
A NASA representative discusses how the space agency is using social media content to connect with fans and "bring the online experience offline." Continue Reading