Over the last decade, we've seen traditional Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions evolve from simple document management and content storage repositories to more complex business process management and content collection systems – frequently via acquired technologies. This “Jack of all trades” approach, however, leads to a common problem: they do everything okay, but nothing extraordinary. In fact, when it comes to ECM, the promise of a single, enterprise-wide content management system to handle all content has underwhelmed. To be effective, these monolithic solutions often require complex integration that is too resource-intensive for today's enterprise. They also don't scale to the level needed to deliver effective content management across an organization, nor do they adequately address today's compliance pressures.
The reality is that ECM solutions must continue to evolve to accommodate the various content types no matter where those assets are stored within the organization. The solutions must also be flexible in how and where they deliver content, giving mobile workers access wherever they need it and without compromising security or draining resources.
Ushering in the New Guard
Innovative approaches to content and storage are helping the modern enterprise deliver a more flexible user experience while reducing costs. From Box to Sharepoint, new applications that help individuals better collaborate and do their jobs more efficiently are shifting the way organizations think about content management. No longer can the traditional ECM suites deliver the best solution for managing content, and gone are the days that all information is stored solely in on-premise data centers. Companies today need a content solution that delivers manageable services, permitting business applications to ingest, access, use, share and manage any type of content, at any time and that is deployable on premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid model.
This is where content services come in, replacing traditional ECM suites with a mix of content management, collaboration and storage options and an overlay of services that helps manage them across an organization. Content services enable enterprises to protect past investments while remaining flexible in looking to the future, all while not jeopardizing compliance or risking content security. The solution makes managing content easy, letting employees focus on driving value for the business.
- Preserving ROI on legacy technology: The IT infrastructures enterprises rely on for critical business processes are often dated. While embracing new technologies in the cloud, organizations must still be able to leverage existing solutions. Content services can ensure responsive access, distribution and retention while leveraging decades of infrastructure investment.
- Maintaining compliance: Enterprises are facing increasing regulatory pressure and the hot new solutions that are attractive to individuals from an easy storage perspective, like Box or Google Docs, are not the best fit from a compliance perspective. Mission critical information often must be stored in secure on-premise data centers, and redaction rules must stay with content as it travels through its lifecycle.
- Giving access without losing control: Access transparency is incredibly important today. Enterprises must allow individuals to get the information they need, where and when they need it, no matter how it is stored. At the same time, content services can help maintain control of viewing and storage rules by ensuring information is kept in its native form with relevant policies attached.
- Maintaining flexibility and driving scalability: Work is no longer confined to inside office walls, and because of that, content strategies must be deployable on-premise, in the cloud and in hybrid environments, while enabling storage and retrieval of information from applications outside the firewall.
Peace of Mind When Leaving Traditional ECM Behind
As enterprise technology continues to evolve with the growth of cloud and new storage infrastructures, content ecosystems will become increasingly complex. The balancing act of keeping up with the demands of an increasingly mobile workforce while still maintaining compliance and avoiding IT vulnerabilities is a challenging one. For enterprises to overcome that challenge, without embarking on a resource intensive reorganization of information, they must leave traditional ECMs in their rearview mirror and welcome the new era.