The future of ECM: Hello, content services

A jade-green chrysalis hangs next to a chrysalis with a close-to-emerging monarch butterfly, which is next to a recently emerged monarch butterfly. The image symbolizes the metamorphosis that ECM has undergone to reach the future-state of content services.

Information and content management leaders — whether a solution provider, IT executive, ECM user or administrator, or end user — are no strangers to change.

Good leaders welcome change. We thrive on it. It’s the reason many of us were drawn to the information industry to begin with.

The biggest change shaking up the information management space today is the future of enterprise content management (ECM) and industry analysts’ rebranding of it.

While some thought leaders speak more about shifting objectives and the need to modernize content strategies, others take a more direct and dramatic approach, proclaiming ECM “dead” in favor of terms like content services.

But the future of ECM hasn’t vanished; it’s just changed.

> Read more | How ECM became content services (and why you should care)

The future of ECM

ECM as a set of capabilities hasn’t gone anywhere. Enterprise content management is still important, but for most digitally transforming organizations, ECM is just one part of a larger content management strategy.

Bear with me as I take a stroll down the road of overused analogies.

Consider butterflies.

Throughout their lifecycles, butterflies undergo what’s called a complete metamorphosis; a shift from egg to larva to pupa to adult. Along the way, each stage is unique and has a different aim.

Over the past several years, the realm of content management has undergone a complete metamorphosis. From ECM, it’s transformed into a world beyond managing enterprise content. It now incorporates the management, and more importantly, the contextual use of data.

The future of ECM incorporates technologies like cloud and mobile, as well as embedded capabilities for managing content, like:

Organizations have a lot of content, and there are a lot of ways to manage it. The days of a content repository simply storing content are over. The future state — the metamorphosis of ECM — is the culmination of the services modern businesses need to manage all their content. Thus, content services as the new terminology.

At Hyland, we’ve witnessed — and in many ways actively driven — this metamorphosis.

The shift is visible in our customers’ changing requirements; in the ever-more-amazing solutions they’re building; and, of course, in the development and growth of our own product line.

Today, Hyland is so much more than a content repository. Hyland’s content management platforms provide the technical infrastructure for organizations to transform siloed, disparate data points into unified, accessible, actionable content.

The concept of content services as a terminology is inextricably linked to the technology that’s available today.

$Glenn Gibson, Global Technology Evangelist at Hyland$

Traditional ECM capabilities are still fundamental to future success

And yet, even at this time of evolution, maybe even revolution, traditional ECM capabilities are still key in any organization’s overall information management strategy. They’re just not the end-all-be-all.

While the terminology used to describe the future state of content might differ, we should all agree on this: The ECM of the past is limiting.

There is so much more potential to do amazing things with content and data — from providing information to knowledge workers in context via agile case management tools to empowering a distributed workforce with mobile and cloud capabilities.

So where do we go from here?

We teamed up with AIIM in an effort to shed some light on the rapidly evolving information management space and highlight the emerging trends and their impact on content management, now and in the future. Check out this eBook: “The Next Wave: Moving From ECM to Intelligent Information Management” to explore a fresh take on where we’ve been and where things are headed.

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In her more than 10 (wonderful) years at Hyland, Amanda Ulery has taken on the mission of sharing the business value of Hyland solutions with anyone who will listen. The proud manager of the product marketing team, she has a background in integrated marketing, the stubborn focus (and eye for detail) of an ex-journalist and the goal of helping the world realize how Hyland solutions can truly transform the way we work.
Amanda Ulery

Amanda Ulery

In her more than 10 (wonderful) years at Hyland, Amanda Ulery has taken on the mission of sharing the business value of Hyland solutions with anyone who will listen. The... read more about: Amanda Ulery