Understanding Enterprise Content Management Platforms (part 1)
... and what they mean for your organization and you.
This is the topic we had in mind when we started to work on a paper that we published recently on the Nuxeo website. This led us to write an ebook that dives into this specific topic in detail -- a fairly solid piece of content which comes also in a lighter summary for those who are in a rush!
For those who'd rather go for a snack here and there instead of a full dinner, read the following to get an appetizer. We will keep posting on this blog more morsels on this topic, chapter by chapter. You can also go for the "old-school" way and download the full ebook as well as the summary of it, to read in an ebook reader or in your favourite PDF reader!
Enterprise Content Management, a complex and fast-evolving domain
Enterprise Content Management, Content Management, Document Management, Asset Management, Information Management, Content Management Interoperability Services... While everyone in the industry throws content management terminology around with ease, talking about these concepts with people “from the real world” reveals huge disconnects in understanding how these concepts can be applied and managed successfully.
In this first part, we’ve tried to provide insight into what Enterprise Content Management really is—and not based solely on our own perspective, but with a holistic view that also looks at existing technologies that support Enterprise Content Management. In fact, this is the first fundamental distinction to bear in mind: Enterprise Content Management is NOT a technology by itself!
Additionally, following the tremendous change that Information Technology and its usage have gone through, we take a look how Enterprise Content Management has exponentially evolved and why this necessitates a new approach to the underlying technology. We’ve moved well beyond the time of file based document management systems, and siloed Content Management applications which can’t (or weren’t) intelligently integrated into the Information System of organizations. Enterprise Content Management software now requires a platform approach to satisfy organizations’ ECM needs – a platform approach not just in name but in actuality, describing the real nature of the technology.
The requirements for a modern ECM platform
So, if it's not only about names, but also about concrete features then these should be clearly expressed, which is what we will address in this paper.
This will take us through a range of topics that we consider important for a platform. The first being to be flexible and modular which means being optimized for customization purposes, as more and more content applications come with unique needs.
This is also the occasion to highlight the need for various user interface technologies. A platform should not be seen as simply a content repository exposing its content through services, but should provide a solid foundation for developers building applications meant to support the full spectrum of client-side components and technologies, from mobile web to rich internet applications.
And finally we'll touch on the development, deployment and run processes that can be integrated into a platform enhancing productivity and sustainability. There should also be room to embrace new opportunities provided by cloud computing, which, needless to say, is not addressed by traditional ECM solutions. All this requires agility, a commitment to continuous integration to ensure that QA practices keep pace with our users' needs, and of course, intelligent software tooling.
We live in a world of standards...
A modern ECM platform should of course support many of them, but our goal here is not to collect the maximum amount of W3C, Oasis and other consortiums’ labels, but rather to evaluate them and leverage the ones that provide the most benefits. Hence, we provide a quick overview of the standards we consider are important in relation to developing an ECM platform, from CMIS to OpenSocial …
But what's the value?
Finally we'll try to highlight the real value of a modern and well designed ECM platform. Of course, we love software engineering and technology, but this would be short-lived and useless without being able to translate these innovations into real value for the user. Through a sample use case, we'll show how an organization can leverage an ECM platform for several projects bringing sustainability, quality and productivity to individuals while at the same time lowering TCO and producing significant ROIs!
We hope you’ll come along with us as we continue our journey of exploring how the content management industry is shaping our future. Stay tuned for more and if you want to download the paper immediately, you can do so now on the nuxeo.com website, the site will just ask for an email address in exchange to keep track of readers and provide future updates!
- Forrester on Enterprise Content Management Suites, Q4 2011 (billives.typepad.com)
Category: Industry Insight