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Will 2015 be ho-hum for ECM software, social and collaboration?

Experts say 2015 isn't likely to bring changes in social business, collaboration and enterprise content management.

If 2014 was the year file-sharing applications like Box and Dropbox became enterprise-worthy, it was also the year that promised major strides in enterprise tools like social media, collaboration software and enterprise content management.

But enterprises are still struggling to incorporate social platforms into their business operations and to get actionable data from them -- as well as return on investment. And despite collaboration tools helping some companies improve internal collaboration and customer engagement, most enterprises hardly see collaboration tools as a must-have.

In this SearchContentManagement podcast, experts Steve Weissman of Holly Group and Laurence Hart of Word of Pie discuss their expectations for information and content management in 2015.

Hybrid cloud-based enterprise content management

Weissman and Hart debated the future of cloud-based ECM software, which has promised to make it easier to secure enterprise data that needs it while also enabling companies to share files with third parties and non-employees beyond the firewall.

Steve WeissmanSteve Weissman

But neither Weissman nor Hart thinks the market is ready to deliver on the promise of hybrid cloud-based ECM. "The cloud is just another alternative, and it [has] always been on the table," Weissman said.

Hart said the market itself is just too immature and won't make inroads in 2015. "This is not going to be a hybrid cloud scenario in 2015 -- there just aren't enough vendors that offer a hybrid solution," Hart said. "I don't see a lot of mass movement to the cloud, but a lot of deals that would have gone to traditional on-premises vendors will start going to cloud vendors."

Social platforms

Laurence HartLaurence Hart

Weissman and Hart agreed that social business has yet to yield its full promise. "Organizations need to be monitoring what people are saying about them and where they're falling short," Weissman said. But "the real issue is, what do you [do] with the data when it comes inside?"

“A lot of organizations are trying to track what's happening … but it starts with the company website and continues on through email," Hart said.  Taking that on into social and making it proactive, that's going to take a lot more sophistication. And a lot of organizations don't have the baseline work to get there yet.


And as far as collaboration tools, Hart said there is no "killer app" to emerge that can work at all enterprises. "Jive has experienced a bit of a renaissance. When we look at Yammer, Slack, there's no perfect collaboration. Every organizations thinks differently, so one tool they use internally may not coincide with tools that work for their external community," he said.

"If you want to talk about slow and steady, it has been. This has been going on since workgroups in 2003," Weissman said. "It will continue to evolve, but I don't think it's the capital-letters next great thing."

Next Steps

Rules for collaboration success

Is cloud-based ECM the answer?

When the cloud doesn't cut it

Dig Deeper on Enterprise content management software platforms

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Does your company use ECM software in the cloud? What about collaboration software?
The advent of ECM software has seen my business save time and money on storing hard copies and eliminating redundancy of unneeded content. My company has also adopted the surfacing cloud collaboration. It was my personal decision because I had seen it work for my counterparts, who could then easily co-author and share various computer files via the cloud. I cannot underestimate its significance to a business that intends to thrive in the current world.