What’s Next for Content Management?
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on March 4th, 2014

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What’s Next for Content Management?

Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

In a number of previous posts -- but most particularly the two below -- I've begun to unpack some thoughts about the impact of consumerization, mobile and cloud, and changing patterns of work on how we think about enterprise IT systems.  In this one, I thought I would get a bit more focused on the impact on the content management space. I would welcome thoughts and feedback.

Managing the volume, variety, and velocity of information and content from the three disrupters (consumerization, mobile and cloud, and changing patterns of work) -- as both a valuable business asset AND a source of cost and risk -- is THE business challenge of the next decade. By combining content and processes in new and unexpected ways, organizations can dramatically mitigate risk, reduce process costs, better engage with customers, employees, and partners, and transform information into insight.

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The intersection of content and process over the past twenty years was best summarized by this continuum:

Capture -> Manage -> Store -> Deliver -> Preserve

In this world, much of the following was true...

  • The focus of IT was on cost reduction.
  • Senior executives were largely technology oblivious, and IT was something whose cost needed to be minimized.
  • IT job security was found in system complexity.
  • As mobile and social entered the world of systems of record, initially just their sheer existence was a source of competitive differentiation.
  • System implementations were long and paid for by capital expenditures (CAPEX).
  • Technical skills in and of themselves had value.

As a result of the disruptive power of consumerization, cloud and mobile, and the changing nature of work, there is now a massive migration in progress. The intersection of content and process in the world we are moving into is best summarized by this new continuum.

Capture -> Analyze -> Engage -> Automate -> Govern

In this new world, much of the following will be true:

  • The central mission of IT is value creation.
  • Senior executives are now technology aware.  (Note this is different from technologically-competent, but that's another story.)
  • The coin of the realm is now simplicity rather than complexity.
  • We have quickly moved into an environment in which mobile and social are becoming table stakes rather than differentiators in an enterprise IT strategy.
  • The desired purchase mode is by the drink rather than by the gallon -- OPEX instead of CAPEX. Oh, and also don't talk to me about implementation cycles longer than a quarter.
  • The really desirable technology players are those with domain/technical skills but in a business context. Technology staff who can think more like engineers ("How can I fit the pieces together for systems that we didn't necessarily invent here?") have increasing value.

As we shift our frame of reference to the world that is ahead, four major questions emerge for information professionals and the organizations they serve:

  1. How do we manage the RISK of growing volumes of content?
  2. How do we TRANSFORM our content-intensive business processes?
  3. How do we use content to better ENGAGE customers, employees, and partners?
  4. How do we get any business INSIGHT out of all the information we are gathering?


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About John Mancini

John Mancini is the President of Content Results, LLC and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on information management, digital transformation and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77. Recent keynote topics include: The Stairway to Digital Transformation Navigating Disruptive Waters — 4 Things You Need to Know to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve Viewing Information Management Through a New Lens Digital Disruption: 6 Strategies to Avoid Being “Blockbustered” Specialties: Keynote speaker and writer on AI, RPA, intelligent Information Management, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation. Consensus-building with Boards to create strategic focus, action, and accountability. Extensive public speaking and public relations work Conversant and experienced in major technology issues and trends. Expert on inbound and content marketing, particularly in an association environment and on the Hubspot platform. John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.