Making ECM meaningful for today’s CIO

It’s Gartner Symposium week, dubbed the largest gathering of CIOs and senior IT managers.

So far, most of the themes are centered on cloud, context, calculated risk and technology flexibility. But from the keynotes to the presentations, one thing’s been clear: there are new pressures that CIOs are dealing with. And those pressures are significantly changing their roles and how they handle IT.

Case in point – technology flexibility. There are competing issues here. Larger vendors are locking organizations into their stacks through enterprise deals that organizations may or may not need. And, the bulk of these deals isn’t in the software – it’s in the customization through services that comes after the deal. But the business landscape – one that CIOs have to be more in tune with – is in constant motion, meaning that technology has to be ready to move and change when necessary. Obviously, these issues have huge implications when it comes to total cost of ownership.

On that note of TCO, many of the changes for the CIO are on the financial side. Here’s one: Gartner predicted that in a few years, CIOs would be much more responsible for driving business – whether that business is revenue-focused in the private sector or service-focused in the public sector. It’s obvious that you shouldn’t do technology for the sake of technology. But this is tying the CIO to the CFO in a way that’s never been seen before.

Lastly, when it comes to actually making IT purchases, risk has been the hot topic. Perhaps it has something to do with a recent Gartner report, which suggests that before even looking at how much something is going to cost and what the returns will be, CIOs must assess risk. (More to come on this soon with a post from Ken Burns.)

All of these changes are pretty high level. But the impact runs deep, all the way to the specific technologies – including ECM.

So here’s my question:

If the CIO is going to take on technology flexibility, be compensated for the ability to drive the bottom line and overcome risk, how do you think that enterprise content management can help him or her do that? Taking it a step further, if there’s something that ECM vendors are doing right already, what is that something? What would you suggest we do differently?

I’ll be putting together some of my own thought on this in a few blog posts to come (also check out tweets on related topics @HylandSoftware during the show), but please send me your ideas, too. Comment here or e-mail me at [email protected]

Kaitlin McCready

Kaitlin McCready

Her title may say “Public Relations Specialist,” but Kaitlin McCready’s got her hand in the corporate Web site, social media, marketing writing and media relations, too. From Baldwin-Wallace College, she... read more about: Kaitlin McCready