Next step in the content evolution

Content is increasingly presenting itself as both a challenge and an opportunity.

Document volumes are growing exponentially; regulations are becoming more complex and yet users are demanding simplicity and ease of use.

>See also: Connecting big data and big content 

Unfortunately, the volume and complexity of problems businesses face are typically compounded by unwieldy legacy solutions with many enterprises using multiple systems to store content.

This article considers the shortcomings of this increasingly outdated approach and how modern content services platforms can provide a solution

Three key areas where traditional ECM is failing

A recent ASG-commissioned technology adoption profile study, “Today’s Enterprise Content Demands a Modern Approach” by Forrester Consulting found 95% were using more than one system to manage enterprise content, including 31% using five or more systems.

This leads to disjointed information and difficult access. Lack of flexibility is therefore one clear shortcoming of existing approaches to ECM. Organisations want to invest in systems and technology that allow them to grow and adapt to changing markets but traditional ECM often hinders their progress.

Further, 82% of respondents reported an increase in unstructured data in the form of business content, like office documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and rich media.

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They are also managing transactional content from outside the organisation. Traditional ECM systems struggle to cope with this level of growth due to another key shortcoming – their inability to scale.

Most traditional ECM solutions also struggle to manage growing regulatory and security requirements. As the study highlights: “Sharing content with external parties is becoming the norm. But with that comes expanding regulatory and compliance demands and an increased urgency to protect both customer and enterprise data.”

What’s needed from a solution

Modern enterprises can leverage content services to manage assets across multiple content repositories, whether in the cloud or on-premise, and keep that information in its native form while still making it easily accessible.

By providing controlled access and integrating content from any device, anywhere, these solutions, can effectively scale to accommodate growing data volumes, while at the same time breaking down the repository walls created by proprietary systems and allowing content to be stored in public and private clouds, on-premise and hybrid environments for greater flexibility and savings.

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At the same time, however, they need to be aware that the regulatory environment is becoming ever more complex, and its dynamic nature means processes must be put in place to effectively ensure compliance and business success.

Practical answers

At ASG Technologies, we recommend a four-pronged approach.

Recognise that technologies alone do not solve the problem of getting content into the right hands when organisations are making business decisions. Today’s content solutions connect people with the business and content they need to make decisions, disseminate knowledge and collaborate with customers and colleagues.

Look for purpose-built, decoupled content services architectures, such as ASG’s Mobius, to manage content. Build your content services infrastructure for a mobile-first workforce and look for platforms that expose specific ECM capabilities as services rather than fully-formed features.

Seek vendors that deliver transparent, contextual access. Content should be delivered to the users’ workflow through an intuitive process offering options through a policy controlled “learning” process;

When reviewing content services architectures, look for those that have granular policy management services to provide content with contextual meaning as well as how it should be governed.

>See also: The digital enterprise hub: harnessing the true power of your digital estate 

This rules-based policy foundation approach to content management is becoming more powerful in a world where regulatory and compliance pressures are constant.

Positive prospects

The cumbersome ECM suites of the past are giving way to flexible content services platforms. These enable access to content across on-premise, cloud-based and hybrid environments at any time and from anywhere and also obtain enhanced visibility across their disparate systems.

In the modern business world, it will be those businesses that take the plunge and adopt the latest modern content management approaches that derive the most value from the content and use it most successfully to achieve improved decision-making capabilities; enhance customer relationships and drive competitive edge.


Sourced by Brendan English, VP, Line of Business, Content Solutions, ASG Technologies


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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