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ECM software prompts companies to balance ease of use and security

As companies struggle to get control of corporate content, they want systems that are easy to use and configure, but also secure and data breach-free.

As companies struggle to get control of their corporate content and manage, they are looking for systems that are easy to use and configure but also secure and breach-free. According to experts, enterprise content management systems -- software to manage corporate content, from editing and collaboration to workflow and archiving -- have matured such that it's possible to balance usability and data security, which previously was difficult to attain. According to Ron Miller, a content management expert and contributor at TechCrunch, it's been easier to strike this balance, as ECM software has focused more on user needs.

"The focus has shifted to the end user and what the end user needs," Miller said. "[Previously], the software was designed to be big and monolithic and huge installs and big management of the application itself. ... Over the last five years, there has been an effort to remove some of that complexity. ... We're shifting the conversation [to] 'How can we access the content, distribute the content in a way that's a lot easier so they aren't using these kludgy systems to do it."

Miller also noted strongly that today, companies don't have to sacrifice information governance and control of their corporate content for ease of use. They can buy systems, he said, that are less heavy-handed and hard to configure without opening the company's doors to data breaches.

"I'd like to think they aren't mutually exclusive," Miller said. "You can have governance without being heavy-handed. One of the mistakes we have made as an industry is that we have expected the end user to be the piece that acts as the gateway to security and governance. When things go wrong, [we blame it on the user]. But security should be done on the back end."

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