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2015 Prediction No. 6 -- Case Management Lights Up (Or A Rose By Any Other Name?)

Dec 22, 2014 9:45:00 AM by John Mancini

I'll be pontificating on 2015 over the next few weeks. Actually, I have already started.  Prediction number one was published on the IBM Big Data and Analytics blog. I think there will likely be about 12 -- kind of like the 12 Days of Predictions.  But maybe not; we'll see.  At some point I will need to start actual Christmas shopping.

My running tally of prediction posts so far:

  1. 2015:  The Year of the I in IT (originally published on the IBM blog; will republish at the end)
  2. 2015:  E-mail Becomes Cool Again
  3. 2015:  The Commoditization of File Sync and Share
  4. 2015:  Collaboration Steals the Show from Enterprise Social
  5. 2015:  Security Shifts from the Perimeter and the Device to the Asset Itself
  6. 2015:  Case Management Lights Up (Or A Rose By Any Other Name?)

2015:  Case Management Lights Up – A Rose By Any Other Name?

What’s in a name?

First the classy version, thanks to William S.

Juliet:  

What's in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,

And for that name which is no part of thee

Take all myself.

And now the not so classy version, thanks to Bartholomew S.

Lisa:  A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.

Bart:  Not if they were called "Stink Blossoms."

Marge:  I wouldn't want a dozen "Stink Blossoms" for Valentines Day. Some candy would do just fine.

Ahhh..."Case Management."  

In so many ways, I think Case Management is EXACTLY at the heart of what ECM needs to become.  At our AIIM ELC meeting last week, Karen Green, CIO of Brooks Rehabilitation got to the heart of things -- “Put simply, IT is in transition from information management to making information super useful.”

At the heart of “making information super useful” is looking closely at the intersection of people, processes, and information, and that’s what Case Management is ultimately all about.  Ultimately, Case Management is about the dynamic business flows that link together people, processes, and information in new, dynamic, and much more agile ways.

case management

A difference between the old world of document management and workflow centric ECM and the new world in which Case Management is a big part is that the PEOPLE are a much bigger part of the equation -- lots more of them and much more likely to be driving the bus with regards to content management than ever before. On the PROCESS side, the processes we are now being asked to deal with are much more ad hoc and have a lot more KM-ish gray space than ever before, with content and knowledge workers smack in the middle of them.  On the INFORMATION side, there is obviously now a lot more of it, no one cares about the distinction between “structured” and “unstructured” anymore (if they ever did), and we now have analytic tools to begin to improve the imperfect information filters that have been an obstacle to finally delivering on the old promise of the right information, at the right time, in the right context, to the right person.

A challenge with just calling all of this Case Management (in its most expansive definition, that’s after all what Case Management is) is that interpretations of the term are so variable based on both the speaker and the listener.  Ask a lawyer what Case Management means, and compare that to what a social worker might say, and compare than to what an ECM vendor might say.

So, I think ultimately 2015 will be the year in which Case Management moves to center stage. Whether the rose winds up ultimately being called something else, is of course a horse of a different color.  (I thought I would close with a special Holiday mixing of metaphors -- Happy Holidays, everyone.)

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