The future of ECM: grasping the content management metamorphosis

As members of the information and content management community – whether a solution provider, IT executive, administrator or end user – we are no strangers to change. In fact, we welcome change. We thrive on it. It’s the reason many of us were drawn to this industry to begin with.

And the biggest change shaking up the information management space today is the attempt to redefine enterprise content management (ECM). While some thought leaders speak more about shifting objectives and content strategies, others take a more direct and dramatic approach, proclaiming ECM “dead” in favor of terms like content services.

But ECM aficionados have no reason to lament, because the story is not so simple.

Have no fear – ECM is not dead, it is only changing

ECM as a set of capabilities is not dead. It’s one page of a larger, grander tale.

Bear with me as I take a stroll down the road of overused analogies. Consider butterflies. Throughout their lifecycles, all 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 – transforming into a world beyond managing enterprise content. It now incorporates the management, and more importantly, the contextual use of data.

It also incorporates technologies like cloud and mobile, as well as capabilities – or, shall I say, content services – like case management, intelligent capture, secure file sharing and collaboration. At each step along the way, organizations have met specific business objectives with different content management technologies.

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. It now encompasses an enterprise information platform on which to build new applications and extend existing line of business applications via integrations while delivering a range of content, process automation and case management services.

Traditional content management capabilities are still fundamental to 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 new world of content management might differ, what we can all agree on is 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 case management software capabilities to empowering a traveling, new generation of workers 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.

And once you do, we’d love to hear from you. Are you experiencing this content management shift in your organization? Are you thinking beyond ECM, and how does intelligent information management fit within your go-forward strategy? Let us know below.

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

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