At this point, just about everyone acknowledges that the simplified, cloud-based Content solutions like Box and Syncplicity are here to stay. There is a place for them in the Enterprise world and that place will grow as their capabilities grow.
What I’ve been hearing and seeing is a repeat of what I’d like to call the SharePoint Experience. People would just role SharePoint out because it was easy and expect everything to work. As we all now know, that wasn’t always the case.
Content Management, when done in a way to do more than just replace a file share, requires planning. It requires Change Management aspects to be considered. The impact to the business processes needs to be planned. Old content has to be migrated.
When SharePoint hit it big, this didn’t happen. Technicians just implemented it without considering the need to understand Content Management. Now, it is a different story.
As these new offerings are purchased and deployed, I’m seeing a lot of the same things. Instead of IT, the business users are leading the efforts. Sure, they don’t need to create an architecture or determine what customizations are needed, but they still need to plan.
- How are we organizing content? Are we going to rely on tagging? Do we need to establish a simple Taxonomy?
- What are we going to do about existing Content? Do we migrate or leave it as is? Are we bringing any structures from the old system over?
- How do we integrate our business processes?
- Speaking of integration, what about our other business systems?
- How are we providing documentation, training, and support to our users?
These are common issues in Content Management and with a cloud-based system they may be simpler questions to answer.
The key to answering these questions is knowing that they need to be asked before the project starts.
Checklists of things to do aren’t going away, they are just getting shorter. They are becoming simplified but still require knowledgeable Information Professionals to lead the effort.
The goal of these cloud-based Content Management solutions is to take the simplicity of file sharing and add the functionality of Content Management. We all need to make sure that the result of this combination is the best of both worlds and not the worst.
3 thoughts on “Cloud May be Easier but Do Your Homework”
Any pearls of wisdom on the unique change management challenges introduced by the Cloud, if any?
The biggest would be expectations. Things move at a faster pace and are generally more reliable (due to better maintenance among other things) in the cloud, but you don’t have the control. You might be able to change the color but your ability to change the interface or the terminology embedded is limited. In many Content Management projects, we’d modify the UI to use the existing terminology to ease adoption. In the cloud, that’s not always an option.
As always, the key is to help them see the value and benefits from the cloud versus onsite and help them realize the benefit of that exchange. If you can’t sell that then perhaps the move wasn’t the right one.
You are right about the planning part needed here. People must know that we have to do our share in organizing as well. I have come across a read that could be significant as well for those people who are still contemplating on moving to the cloud, planning on it but still reluctant.
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