Life After ECM: What Does It Look Like?

logo_aiim - AIIM Logo 1AIIM President and CEO John Mancini recently shared his vision of the rapidly changing ECM (enterprise content management) landscape – and what CIOs should do to cope with these changes – in a special webinar, produced in partnership with KOFAX. You can download the whole recording for free here:

This second extract from the webinar will let you see what AIIM sees as the main priorities for the ECM community going forward

Last time (‘Are We Heading To A Digital Industrial Economy… Or Into Digital Business Chaos?’) I outlined the challenges to modern business around the collision of consumerised IT, the rise of Cloud/Mobile and the changing face of the modern global workforce – which in many experts’ eyes is raising the spectre of companies not moving into a well-functioning Digital Industrial Economy but falling into information overload and what you might call ‘digital chaos.’

This means that dealing with information will be the single biggest business problem for any organisation over the next decade.

So, what is to be done to deal with these realities?

I think the only real place to start is to see if you and your team can come up with answers to these four critical questions:

  • How do we best manage the risk around growing volumes of content?
  • How do we transform our content-intensive business processes?
  • How can we use content to better engage customers, employees and partners?
  • How do we obtain better business insight from all the mass of information we are currently gathering?

At the same time, technology is changing. Think about the shift you can see where IT is starting to focus less on cost reduction and more on adding value; on how the C-suite is moving from being cheerfully ignorant about technology to being actively engaged with it (albeit not always conversant with its complexities); and where mobile and social is not a differentiator, a must-have – but basic table-stakes for any functioning organisation.

What do I mean by this? Well, think about this: chances are your organisation is still doing collaboration the same way it did in 2004 – with lots of emails, with attachments, that get sent out on a ‘reply all’ basis. This worked OK then, but is it still what we should be doing?

How does it meet our goal of not just automating but starting to transform business processes? Or look around and see how the organisation is moving from capex (capital expenditure) purchasing of systems to opex (operating expenses) – or the way IT itself is having to adjust from having a market value in terms purely of base skills to one (thanks to the Cloud?) where value can only be found in context, i.e. contribution to the business?

We are not there yet; and we are in many ways still working with the older paradigms. However, I am convinced that striking the right balance between these older forms of working with information and the new realities is the major task we now face.

Here at AIIM, we think the best contribution we can make to this debate is to start to talk about these challenges not as product/technology issues but as business problems. That means we are changing the way we articulate and discuss these issues, a process I think you will see take shape in our material and on our website over the next few months.

I encourage you to engage with us in that debate – as well as start working to help your own CEOs deal with these issues, which I am sure you will agree really are ‘beyond’ what we are used to talking about around Enterprise Content Management.

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