As I have discussed in previous blogs, the information management challenges faced by organizations today are both real and sizeable—and cannot be solved by legacy technologies or mindsets.
The path to digital transformation is a windy one, but one where the first step absolutely has to be modernization of the information management toolkit within an organization. Get that foundation right and the latter stages of the journey are achievable. Fail to lay this foundation, and don’t be surprised when the whole digital transformation house comes crashing down around your ears.
In order to solve the information challenges faced by modern organizations, a modern solution is required.
Enter the Content Services Platform
From a high level, a Content Services Platform (CSP) may look like the ECM systems of the past—however, there are three areas in which a CSP significantly differs from an ECM solution:
A Content Services Platform needs to be a part of the modern information management toolkit, not built 10 years ago in a time before mobile and cloud had taken off. In addition, it needs to be able to natively and effectively manage all of the data and content types that we use today—video, audio, social media, etc.— not just scanned documents and word files. And finally, it needs to do all of this for billions of items. In short—a CSP needs to address the Big Content challenge head on.
ECM solutions were designed to be insular—they were sold as the “one place to store all of your content.” As we have already established, that never actually happened.
Content Services Platforms take a very different approach. While still having the ability to store data and content locally (in their own repository), modern CSPs like Nuxeo are able to connect to other information sources within the business. This federated content services approach means that they can access content stored in an old ECM system, or data stored in a legacy accounting application—all from a single platform. This is key and provides users with a single hub to go to in order to store and retrieve information across the enterprise.
The modern and connected aspects of a CSP are all about IT and the business— making sure the system scales and connects systems together. The final element brings the benefit of all of this behind the scenes work to the user—via personalization.
Quite simply, this is about allowing users to store, view, edit, and interact with data and content however they want to. That could be via the CSP interface, but equally it could be via a mobile app, a productivity app (such as MS Outlook), a line of business app like Salesforce, a web portal, or even a custom-built application to perform a specific task or process for the business.
This personalization capability changes the dynamic of how users interact with information. In the past, the user has had to adapt how they work to find and interact with information. Now the system can be tailored (better yet, nay personalized) to the exact requirements of the individual end users—and that is massively powerful.
Modernizing Information Management to Deliver Business Value
Putting these three pieces together—modern, connected, and personalized—creates a relevant, scalable, and flexible platform that improves the customer experience, drives productivity, and has a positive effect on the bottom line. And with that in place, the journey towards information management modernization, and ultimately digital transformation, can begin.
Organizations tend to look for one of two key drivers when exploring digital transformation: a rapid return on investment (ROI) and a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO). Indeed, according to research performed by BAO (By Appointment Only) on behalf of Nuxeo, TCO is the most important aspect of any new technology. Unfortunately, ROI and TCO often compete against each other, especially when it comes to modernization.
You “can” get a rapid ROI by deploying a new system to solve some of the business challenges, and you can reduce your TCO by retiring old applications as part of that new deployment—but what we are describing here is a rip-and-replace model, that ultimately fails because of all the
arguments described in the “Why Rip and Replace Projects Fail” blog by my colleague Jeannette Sherman.
A Better Way Forward: Intelligent Information Management
However, there is a simple approach that can deliver both ROI and TCO, without the need for a rip-and-replace model. The Nuxeo approach focuses on the modernization of legacy applications via a content services platform, with a connect and consolidate strategy for for managing information management systems. This will be the subject of the next blog in this series, as well as an upcoming “How to Increase your ROI with Modernization” webinar on October 11th.
This Connect and Consolidate methodology for Information Modernization can deliver both short term ROI and longer term reduced TCO, and lay the foundation for further digital transformation efforts. In a digital world where information is everywhere, and every operational and business function depends on information, can you afford not to start your transformation journey today?