From vision to reality – ECM in the cloud is here


Remember the days when people laughed at enterprise content management (ECM) in the cloud? Well, those days are gone.

Research by analyst firm Ovum has exploded the myth that organizations won’t store key content and processes in the cloud – and done it in style.

The headline number says 99.5 percent – yes, ninety-nine point five percent – of the 250 global organizations surveyed will utilize some form of ECM in the cloud within the next three years. That figure includes:

  • 66 percent for document storage
  • 58 percent for capture and indexing
  • 42 percent for records management
  • 52 percent for case management

But, at the risk of being controversial, the important thing here is not the numbers – it is the shift in mind-set.

Just a few short years ago, organizations were naturally worried about putting their corporate crown jewels in the cloud – but much has changed in that time. The explosion of file sync and share (FSS) tools together with growth in mobile technology adoption means that most people are experiencing the cloud on a daily basis in their personal lives. This had to creep over into business life at some stage. However, the research also highlights that confusion still exists over exactly what ECM in the cloud actually is. Without delivering a spoiler alert, the report delivers some insightful analysis in that area.

So, should organizations rush headlong to make the move to ECM in the cloud? Absolutely not.

Large amounts of research over the past number of years have shown that organizations tend to deploy multiple ECM solutions – and the Ovum research backs this up. On that basis, ECM in the cloud needs to be part of that overall ECM portfolio, with integration to the other ECM silos and other line-of-business applications. Integrating your important systems allows them to share real-time information and empowers employees with instant access to exactly what they need.

Above and beyond that, the security of the cloud solution still needs to be top-notch. Traditional security (what might be called IT-focused security) needs to be balanced with data privacy management. This combination is an effective cloud information management strategy that organizations can only achieve by working in true partnerships with their vendors.

However, the good news is that all of this is eminently possible with the right ECM in the cloud solution. For those of us who have been extolling the virtues of this approach for a while now, it seems like nirvana is almost here.

I look forward to seeing you there.

David Jones

Dave brings over 20 years’ experience of working across the globe on projects ranging from enterprise content management (ECM) to Big Data, and for clients ranging from the BBC to... read more about: David Jones