Hyped Tech Lives Only to Solve Real Issues


One of the joys of working for AIIM is attending a wide variety of events. In fact, one of the unexpected joys is is the board meeting.408234_10151195570639391_1800285567_n The reason is it brings a lot of smart people in one room to talk about the Information industry’s direction. Every single person there genuinely cares about the future of the industry.

As a result, we have a lot of good discussions on the drivers moving the industry forward. Last year, prior to my joining AIIM, it was observed that Big Data, Social, Cloud, and Mobile were emerging and important issues that Information Professionals are having to start addressing.

This year, as we reviewed the list to see if the items were still relevant, we turned these concepts on their head.

Why Big Data?

Really, this all started as people started wondering why we cared about Big Data. I cared, but was it really relevant to the business users? After talking to several of the CIOs in the room, we determined that what people really care about is the age-old challenge of Analytics.

Analytics? What’s sexy or cool about that?

Nothing really. What’s cool and sexy are the Insights we can pull from the Analytics. Getting the answers that you need to operate more efficiently and intelligently is very sexy.

Then we brought it back to center. Where does Big Data fit into this world? Do we replace it with Analytics? Not necessarily.

Big Data is a tool for analyzing large amounts of data. It is a means to an end. Not every analytical problem requires Hadoop, but when you need it to get Insight, you can get it.

Big Data -> Analytics -> Insight -> Answers -> ? -> Profit!

Extending the Concept

So there I was, thinking about using Big Data to generate insight from our large Information repositories. Then it occurred to me, this mindset can apply to the other three areas.

  • Cloud technologies can make Content Management more Efficient.
  • Social is really a way to improve Collaboration.
  • Mobile gives our knowledge workers Flexibility. It isn’t about working while traveling but allowing people to get things done when needed without having to sacrifice the rest of their lives. (If you can improve on Flexibility, let me know).

Just like Content Management is really about solving business problems, these technologies are really about making those same business problems even easier to solve. When applied to the challenges of information and process, this has legs.

So when I think back to the original question we were discussing, the answer is a resounding YES! All four are still important. In fact, I would argue that there are more technologies that belong on the list but there is something to be said for focus.

What do you think? If you’ve read this far, you are an Information Professional and at AIIM, our goal is to help you. Are these the right focus? Are the problems I’ve tied them too the correct ones?

After all, this is your industry and your association. Your needs and thoughts are just as important as mine.

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