Today’s market creates problems that legacy Enterprise Content Management systems can’t solve. As content management evolves toward the cloud with an increasing focus on agility and innovation, businesses that rely on ECM face a fork in the road.

A recent Nuxeo survey of UK financial services firms showed that average knowledge workers are dedicating 11% of every day to finding content locked up in separate systems. Multiplied over thousands of workers and hundreds of work days, these tasks create a productivity drain that costs enterprises tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.

The path you choose next will decide whether your systems for managing content will work around your business — or whether you will have to fit your business around your solution.

Let’s take a look at four of the main differences that could make or break your ECM replacement, and why they’re so important.

Platforms vs. Solution Suites

Traditional ECM software typically started with one solution, becoming a suite as mergers and acquisitions, as well as internal product development, brought new solutions to the fold.

There’s a problem with solution suites: they can only do as much as they’re intended to do. They solve the problems they were designed to solve, but what happens when the problems change, and new problems emerge? Today, financial services organizations struggle to build smartphone apps, or enrich data with artificial intelligence, while relying on core systems that use code written 20 years ago.

Today, some modern content management vendors — like Nuxeo — have scrapped the idea of solutions in favor of platforms.

Built to make it easier to find and use content across the enterprise, Nuxeo Content Services Platform enables rapid application development, based on highly-configurable, low-code innovation tools, allowing easy creation of content-centric apps that can be deployed in days or weeks, not months or years.

With solution suites, integrations are often limited, or require extensive custom coding. Nuxeo Platform makes it easy for enterprises to integrate new microservices and maintain an evolving tech stack comprising best-in-breed technologies.

Universal Content vs. Documents & Data

For centuries, documents ruled commerce. Even as secretarial pools gave way to print streams, the written word was king of content in financial services.

Now, that’s changing: more types of content are being generated, and many are critical to customer experience. By way of example, picture a rush-hour fender bender: Today’s drivers are likely to have a cell phone, and can readily snap a photo of the accident scene, as well as the insurance paperwork belonging to the other driver.

Face and voice recognition, analyzing medical imaging with AI, 3D renderings of property for risk analysis — the technologies of the future that keep accounts secure and risks low will rely on content that goes far beyond documents and data.

Too many legacy ECM vendors simply don’t understand the magnitude of — or can’t catch up with — this massive diversification of content.

From the beginning, Nuxeo knew that content didn’t end with documents. Our platform is built to help customers find and use content of every type imaginable, from images to video, 3D maps to IoT data … and, of course, as many documents as you can generate.

Cloud Natives vs Cloud Newcomers

When cloud software first emerged, few ECM vendors leapt at the chance to move their software to the cloud. They thought — or perhaps hoped — that cloud would be a passing fad, and would have too many security and reliability issues to replace on-premises software.

Anyone who bet against the cloud in the last 10 years has lost. Cloud is everywhere, now with the promise of better uptime and fewer security vulnerabilities than traditional on-premises deployments. Now, ECM vendors must scramble to get cloud-ready … but let’s get real: the retrofitted result often looks like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

The strength of a vendor’s cloud offering is a true indicator of whether your ECM replacement will be able to meet modern challenges. Nuxeo Platform was designed with cloud computing in mind from the very beginning. Nuxeo offers total flexibility in cloud deployments, whether a customer prefers to use Nuxeo’s cloud, their own, or a third-party vendor’s.

Upgrades vs. Continuous Development

The biggest make-or-break factor for your ECM replacement: its future-readiness.

Upgrading legacy ECM solutions is expensive, time-consuming, and disruptive to regular business operations. For regulated enterprises, like those in financial services, system replacement can be very high risk.

Upgrade costs also paint financial institutions into a corner. When one system reaches the end of its support lifecycle, banks and insurers are faced with the necessity of paying for an upgrade or an entirely new system.

Modern platform-based content management works differently. If a customer buys Nuxeo Platform, there is no paid upgrade to a new version. Instead, we use a continuous development model to make more frequent, smaller changes to our platform, driven by our ongoing dialogue to discover our customers’ evolving needs.

With this model, upgrading is easy, non-disruptive, and (best of all) free. Nuxeo’s cloud-native Content Services Platform (CSP) lets you say goodbye to ECM systems that seem cost-effective only until upgrade cost creeps up.

Getting Value for Your ECM Replacement Dollar

These key differences in how vendors approach ECM replacement and modernization will have a huge impact on the eventual success of your deployment.

One fork in the road leads back the way you’ve already been — and one leads to a new kind of future. With Nuxeo Platform, you can use more types of content in ways you’ve never thought possible before, build the tech stack of your dreams, and keep your platform up to date without adding risk or expense.

To learn more about the benefits of a Content Services Platform, download this guide to understand 8 reasons to Modernize your ECm with a Content Services Platform today.