Thinking on the Future of Content Management


I’m sitting here reflecting upon a very productive Gilbane Conference in Boston this week.  It was good to talk to people and see what people were thinking about in the Content Management industry. Engagement, Search, and Social were big, overlapping themes in the conference.

I was at Gilbane in order present my view on the future of Content Management.  I thought I would share the slides here and talk a little about the recent research on the same topic from AIIM.

The Future is Coming

The topic, Revisiting ECM in the 2.0 World, was a quick 30 minute tour of the history of ECM, the biggest flaws, and where the industry needs to go in order to really address the problems of Content Management.  It was focused on making the case for Omnipresent Content Management (OCM). [Check my new page which consolidates my ECM/OCM thoughts.]

Until I have the link to the audio/video, you will need to watch it on SlideShare so you can see my speaker notes.

You can download the PDF version as well.

Meanwhile, At AIIM…

I’ve been talking about the vision for OCM since July of 2009.  AIIM has decided to get into the future act and has developed a vision around Systems of Record and Systems of Engagement.  You can read about it on AIIM’s site.  John Mancini also talked about the findings on his blog in good detail.  Finally, you can look at the presentation here on SlideShare:

Now that you are caught-up, let’s talk about this briefly.  The study, while very interesting and full of relevant information, isn’t looking very far into the future.

The questions that they addressed (slide 3) were looking at the wrong things.  They asked where the industry was heading, which is good, but then talked about the impact of Social Media on ECM and how the users want to engage.  These are important things, but are not new to those outside of the traditional ECM vendor ranks.  The Gilbane Conference talked about these issues and had people talking about how they were addressing these things NOW.

Why do we need to call them Systems of Engagement? It is just collaboration with newer collaboration tools.  If you don’t like that term, why not use Enterprise 2.0? Please, No new terms for existing concepts.  Craig Rhinehart talked about these points in great detail in his post: It’s Back to the Future, Not Crossing the Chasm When it Comes to AIIM’s “Systems of Record” and “Systems of Engagement”.

Waiting to learn more about the research before I comment much further (Webinar 12-14-2010).  I do want to say that what has been not shared is what has to change for Content Management.  The focus was purely on ECM and how people use content at work.  The problem is that there is a growing amount of content outside of the Enterprise.

Another train of thought I want them to run through to conclusion:

  • I have a System of Engagement and I decide to engage with my partners.  I have between 5-10 partners, though that number can get quite large.
  • Each of my partners may have an equal number of partners.  Eventually almost every company in the world can be linked.
  • How do I collaborate with my partners in a common way that they will also be use with their partners, they with their partners, and so forth into infinity?  Most people prefer to collaborate in only one system.

I don’t trust Facebook with anything I want to keep private.  A lot of people do not like Microsoft.  Some people love Google.  There will be no one common collaborative application (except for email).  How do we solve the problem?

My concern is that the AIIM research is focused on the interface.  Without standards and larger infrastructure to support both Systems of Record and Engagement, a good interface will only go so far.

Stay tuned.

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