There’s Something In The Content Services Air…

Here’s the third in our series of conversations at the recent, and very successful, AIIM Forum Europe in London in November. thedmcollaborators Editor was able to network with some of the great and the good of the Content Services sector, and we continue to share some of the fruits of our conversations with them. Today we have AIIM Board Director David Jones.

Ask DM/Content Services industry veteran Dave Jones – a strategic marketing leader and information management expert who has 20+ years’ experience in the technology space across big data, analytics, cloud and enterprise content management, and whose CV includes stints at major players like Nuxeo, Konica Minolta and EMC – where he thinks the market’s going right now, and even if you don’t like his answer, chances are you’d have to respect the fact it’s likely to be pretty well-informed.

In this case: we think you will. That’s because Dave feels a definite atmosphere of positivity in the air, with a feeling of real progress in the market at last.

“I think there’s a huge buzz,” he told us at AIIM Forum Europe. “A feeling we’re getting very close to a ‘tipping point’ for the sector.”

What’s his evidence? Well, as Dave points out, there’s a lot of new entrants coming into the market on the positive side… and perhaps on the negative side, there’s change at ‘the top,’ too. if you look at the Gartner Magic Quadrant this year, for example or at Forrester’s Cloud Content Platform Wave, you’ve got a situation where there’s a lot of new players coming into that marketplace

“Some of the legacy players are struggling to migrate 15-year old pieces of software to the cloud. The challenge is, they’re having to rebuild them at the same time as they maintain them and keep them up to date, and it’s proving difficult for them. 

“So there’s a very stark shift, which is good, and that new energy that’s coming into the industry makes it a really exciting time to be right now. But there’s an irony to some of the conversations that we’re having now, because we’re hitting 2020, start of a new decade, which is, of course, a perfect time to evaluate where you’re at, you know, take stock —but we’re having the same conversations, about the same pieces of software that we did 10 years ago, at the start of 2010!

“One of the reasons for me why we’re still having that conversation is because it’s so difficult to migrate away from those pieces of software. SharePoint 2010, for example, is hitting end of life in 2020, but we still talked about it today at the conference, it’s still being used; AIIM Research last year found that 33% of SharePoint users still have that version of the software, even though Microsoft stopped supporting or updating it five years ago.”

Of course, we know why; the reality is if it was easy to move even up a version of SharePoint, people would’ve done that, as he points out. “But it’s not, and it’s not just SharePoint; the whole model of upgrading on-premise software is difficult. It’s not a point and click thing, which is why we see the unstoppable rise of cloud, where there are upgrades that happen, but they’re continuous ones, and if you use Salesforce, you get maybe 10 of those a year, some of which you don’t even know happened.”

For Dave, this model of continuous upgrade/continuous innovation/continuous delivery is going to change our market completely. Why? Because the days of lock-in will finally end: “No longer are you going to be tied into those vendors because you can’t migrate away from them or you can’t migrate up to them.”

As a result, 2020 may well be a year that we see a huge, definitive embrace of cloud by Content Services customers, he predicts: “People will say, let’s do the upgrade, let’s do the whole darn thing in one go and build ourselves an infrastructure ready not just for 2020, but beyond. 

“That’s why I think we’ve got almost a perfect storm arriving; the need to go to cloud, the fact that there are new vendors that are hitting things like the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the Forrester Wave, and them being visible for people, combined  with how, via things like the iPhone, everybody is now used to continuous updates, cloud, and ease of use.

“All of those are coming together at the same time. And that means that this industry is going to look very different in three years’ time!”

thedmcollaborators editors

David Jones is an AIIM Board Director and also Marketing Director at AODocs. AIIM Forum Europe was held on the 19th of November, which built on 17 years of success of the previous show, AIIM Forum UK but was re-modelled for 2019 to AIIM Forum Europe

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