When organizations consider investing in information technology, the motivation is typically to drive improvement in their business operations. Essential business solutions manage rich sets of data and leverage them to optimize business activities. Common examples include enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which manage and leverage business data to provide better visibility into processes and logistics or customers and prospects, respectively.

Unfortunately, these essential business systems do not address all business challenges. Often, necessary information is not available in a database; instead, it is frequently locked within business documents exchanged within the business, between business partners, or exchanged with customers. Think of contracts, tax records, and appraisals that accompany a loan origination process. Consider the forms, estimates, and damage appraisals that make up an insurance claim. Remember all the documents that needed to be signed or submitted when onboarding as a new employee. In each of these cases – and dozens more across different departments and industries – documents are essential to the business process. They contain crucial information not directly available in the financial, claims, or HR systems that require them.

To address these challenges, organizations have invested in enterprise content management (ECM) solutions to manage content throughout the organization, often supporting processes that leverage these business-critical documents. ECM systems addressed an essential need for organizations, and many organizations successfully addressed challenges at the department level and even across large enterprises.

While many organizations have found success with these solutions, others have encountered challenging implementations or resulting solutions that were not well-positioned to address new or changing requirements. And despite significant investment and sophisticated technologies, integrating ECM solutions with mission-critical business systems is often elusive.

The evolution of content management to content services has given organizations some cause for optimism. More than a simple rebranding, Content Services Platforms (CSP) offer value that traditional ECM platforms did not.

We recently published a white paper that explores CSPs’ advantages and how they overcome legacy ECM platforms’ challenges. This white paper examines CSPs’ essential benefits and how they enable organizations to deliver content applications more quickly and effectively than legacy ECM platforms.

Limitations of Legacy ECM Platforms

ECM arrived two decades ago with great promise, but it often fell short. And even when ECM solutions successfully addressed the immediate business challenges, they remained challenging to maintain or modify to meet new or changing requirements. Some of the most frequent frustrations experienced by ECM customers include:

  • High Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): ECM systems are expensive to acquire, deploy, and increasingly, organizations question whether the lack of innovation and support justify the high maintenance costs of these legacy systems. Calculate your TCO with our Total Cost of Ownership Calculator
  • Failure to Address Business Challenges: Due to lengthy development cycles or unrealistic expectations, even the best solutions failed to meet expectations consistently due to design compromises or implementation difficulties.
  • Limited User Adoption: For content applications to deliver value, end users must take advantage. Unfortunately, too many ECM applications fail to consider end-user requirements, requiring unintuitive steps that end up frustrating users.
  • One More Silo: Since individual departments or business processes drive most ECM projects, organizations end up acquiring a patchwork set of applications using different platforms, technology stacks, and interfaces, none of which talks to or understands the other. The result is a proliferation of siloed information sources, making it increasingly difficult to predict where information exists, even if managed within a successful business solution.

How Content Services is Different

But before adopting a content services strategy, there are four success factors to consider that can dramatically impact a solution’s value to the organization:

  • Cloud: Identify Cloud-native content management architectures that take full advantage of Cloud infrastructures to increase scalability, ensure accessibility, and reduce the total cost of ownership.
  • Low code: Insist on CSPs that provide low-code development environments to rapidly deliver highly customized applications while providing the extensibility needed to meet unique business requirements.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Consider platforms that include AI and machine learning to extract additional business data or identify insights from business documents.
  • Connectivity: Look for CSPs with micro-services architectures and include integration tools to help consolidate disparate systems and information, improve user efficiency, and eliminate the information silos within an enterprise.

Learn More about Content Services Strategy

For more on how these success factors can deliver successful solutions and what to look for in a modern CSP, download Nuxeo’s new Driving Innovation Through an Effective Content Services Strategy whitepaper.