Gartner: ‘The death of ECM and birth of content services platforms’

Many forward-thinking leaders are looking to technology to drive competitive advantage with digital transformation initiatives. The responsibility of driving the digital transformation strategy often rests on the shoulders of a cross section of CIOs, CTOs, and chief digital officers.

Key to any digital transformation initiative is content. In a piece written by Gartner research director, Michael Woodbridge, titled The Death of ECM and Birth of Content Services, he laid to rest the term “enterprise content management”, where adoption and user experience has suffered, and derived the new market of “content services platforms” to align with today’s reality of how systems interoperate and, more importantly, the way in which people access information.

“The term ‘enterprise content management’ no longer reflects market dynamics or the organizational needs for content in digital business. For applications leaders in charge of content management projects, this means casting aside previous notions and rethinking their technology approaches.” – Gartner

Cloud content services platforms

Strategically minded organizations will look to cloud content services platforms for increased time to business value. Open platforms that enable enterprises to leverage both existing legacy on-premise investments, as well as cloud applications, will drive innovative thinking from businesses. With cloud content services platforms, organizations (public & private sectors) will be able to think and act like a start-up to create new business models and processes – whether in IT or operational business units. Innovation is no longer constrained to outdated approaches to information technology and an employee’s creativity and imagination will be unlocked.

“The ECM market has a remarkable history, but as a concept and product suite it also brings considerable baggage … ECM, however, has not won over many business users who have been unable to unleash the value of their enterprise content from the unintuitive and disconnected interfaces that typically accompanied ECM suites.” – Gartner

Woodbridge describes certain buying drivers for content services platforms – from team productivity and content ecosystems (integration of content into a variety of business systems) to process applications whereby there is a need to build applications that have both process and content “at the heart.”

Security & privacy

In a digital world, cloud security is one of the top critical evaluation criteria. Chief information security officers already recognize that taking a perimeter defense is inadequate with today’s mobile workers. Risk-based security assessments will be undertaken that are specific to applications in order to protect corporate information. Cloud content services vendors that are recognized among the analyst community as leaders in securing corporate information will be top of mind when approving cloud-based initiatives.

AI & machine learning:

With the exponential growth of data, imagine a world where content becomes more valuable when machine learning is applied to it than that same piece of content with no intelligence added. The use cases around machine learning (ML) are numerous and will aid in both workforce productivity and gaining competitive advantage.

Examples include:

  • Image Intelligence: ML could detect individual objects and concepts in image files, capture text through optical character recognition (OCR), and automatically adds keyword labels to images to easily build metadata on image catalogs
  • Audio Intelligence: ML could take audio files to create and index a text transcript that can be easily searched and manipulated in a variety of use cases
  • Video Intelligence: ML could provide a transcription, topic detection and detect people to allow users to quickly find the information they need in a video

Going forward, Woodbridge advises the following three things organizations should prioritize for digital transformation success:

#1 “I think the first priority is to take system modernization and the modernization of your legacy architecture and utilize that as the catalyst for rethinking business processes in a way that meets the new needs of the digital age. This includes end-to-end collaboration with our customers (internal processing and external processing), enabling extended networks of collaboration between partners, employees and customers alike.  And not just utilize system modernization to simply replace one form of technology with another – really engaging the business to deliver real business change.”

#2 “Secondly, I think it’s about having an effective digital workplace strategy – In that respect, really focusing in on employee experience in the systems that they use. The effectiveness of employees is really as important to the success of the organization as the experiences that we provide to our clients – and can be a real competitive lever which has been shown in our research.”

#3 “And thirdly, I think it’s about prioritizing information governance – And, in this respect, not being afraid of cloud in order to help achieve this. Many cloud-based providers base their entire business and their entire business reputation around being able to be compliant, making sure your data is secure and making sure that privacy is at the heart of all their transactions.  And, as such, can be proven to be, in many cases, much more secure and compliant than many on-premise infrastructures and implementations.”

To achieve success, both business and IT leaders need to think deeply about the digital world in the context of their own unique business environment and competitive threats to drive innovation. Today, more than ever, technology advancements are also sparking the imagination of employees on the front line to drive business value throughout their organization.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Brian Clendenin
Brian Clendenin
"We are at one of the most exciting moments in history when it comes to innovation in IT driving innovation in business." Widely recognized as a powerful speaker intertwining storytelling and expertise, Clendenin writes and speaks on the topics of leadership, cloud, infrastructure, monitoring & analytics, DevOps, AI, machine learning, security, mobility, IT strategy, and digital transformation. Invests his time interviewing engaging thought leaders. (Connect with Brian Clendenin on LinkedIn)

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