Preparing your organization for ECM in the cloud


Cloud-based file shares cannot do Enterprise Content Management (ECM). There, I said it!

Dropbox and Skydrive may be registering thousands of users, but in the same way that you can’t do real ECM using just the Windows folder system, you can’t perform true ECM in the cloud using cloud file shares. Understanding this difference is the first step to preparing your organization for the move to ECM in the cloud – but not the only one.

Transforming roadblocks into drivers

Security is often the roadblock that stops organizations from moving to the cloud, but the areas of contention are often the wrong ones. Physical security is regularly questioned – but if you’ve ever tried getting into a data center (even with permission), you’ll know that this argument can easily be annulled.

Next up, people worry about being hacked or losing their data. Ironically, research shows that most data breaches actually come from within an organization. With these sort of facts in hand, those trying to move an organization towards the cloud can turn security from a roadblock to a driver.

Tying all of these arguments together is the question of functionality. In the same way that cloud file sharing is not ECM in the cloud – without things like configurable workflows, integration to other applications (both cloud and on-premises) and advanced capture – a software as a service (SaaS) ECM cloud solution is likely to be just a glorified archive in the sky.

Sure, that’s useful for some. But the real benefits of ECM in the cloud, just like ECM in general, come from the advanced tools that form around an organization and its needs. True ECM in the cloud solutions don’t require an organization to adapt to the software, which is often the case with simple SaaS ECM cloud solutions.

Building a roadmap

Preparing your organization for ECM in the cloud is about understanding issues like these and determining which route through this minefield works for you. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

To help get you started, this free webinar offers a detailed analysis of how to prepare, what elements are important and what to avoid.

Remember, every organization is different. So a single, nonconfigurable piece of cloud software won’t work for everyone. Deploying on-premises ECM requires thought, diligence, careful planning and a flexible solution – and exactly the same applies when deploying ECM in the cloud.

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