Digital disruption is all around us. Increased customer demands are pushing organizations to constantly adapt and innovate to be competitive. They are setting aside traditional approaches to systems and technology, looking for innovative ways to design and build applications that digitize information and processes and can adapt as necessary. Nowhere do we see this happening more clearly than in today’s software-defined enterprise.

The software-defined enterprise understands that information is the core of their business and the biggest leverage they have to disrupt, innovate and improve, and they build their systems to support it.

They know that content is no longer simply about files and metadata, it is captured in many different formats (including web and mobile forms), enabling them to slice and dice it in innovative ways, delivering it to the right person within the right context.

This new approach to content requires tools and technologies that weren’t available in the paper world. It requires capabilities that don’t currently exist in legacy enterprise content management softwares.

It’s not about building bigger better content management platforms that still act as silos of information. It’s about building business applications that create and utilize content to support customers (both internal and external), applications that are flexible and can be adapted as things change.

Perfect example: EA (Electronic Arts). EA builds software games. It needed a way to track and control its video game builds. It developed a content-based application that manages all the information for each game, including details of the game, who it’s built for, what stage of the development process it’s at, who is on the list of beta testers and how is the testing is going, where the binaries for the software are located, and so on. The actual files - game binaries - are only one piece of the content that needs to be managed and secured, the rest of the content is managed via a structured (form) interface.

The type of content management solution that EA built is what we call a content-centric business application, where people manage and collaborate on content within the context of business processes, as opposed to managing content in a separate traditional enterprise content management application. EA is just one example of an enterprise developing innovative content-centric applications. Other examples of such applications include invoicing, catalogs, Case Management Platform and customer care.

What’s the difference between content managed with a traditional enterprise content management software and content managed within the business applications that use it? It’s the difference between living, active content and static content, between being able to integrate big data and continually analyze what’s working and what’s not, adapting businesses processes as necessary. Traditional ECMs lock content away in static files, with no opportunity to use it in any way other than how it was first created and stored. That approach simply won’t work today.

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