Content management systems are more and more important. They need open and nimble platforms to engage with their customers and stakeholders in more relevant ways to stay competitive and exceed customer expectations.

Companies are highly aware of the need to support personalized content experiences that are truly engaging, but most IT operating models were designed to optimize back-office efficiency. With the evolution of the cloud and improvements in security, the cloud is now the perfect solution for content management.

There is no industry or job where content or documents are not used. Many believe knowledged workers are the primary individuals who create and consume content, but the reality is everyone uses documents in some form. Employees in all classes need access to manuals and guides, whether they are physical paper or digital formats.

Enterprise content management is a term that employees in technical, security, and information management-focused roles use. Content can be in the form of a document or digital form shared via a collaborative workspace. Content of all types drives many of our critical business activities. Content is the primary means for communication, collaboration, decision-making. Employees need to have relevant content readily available, and they need that content to be accurate and trustworthy. They also need to what content they can share and what content must remain confidential. Forrester describes Enterprise content management as “a set of strategies and technologies that help information workers find, use, and analyze digital information, from any place, at any time, within the guard rails of corporate policies.”

Enterprise content management has been around for about a quarter-century. Over the decades, vendors and tools have evolved and changed, but right now, we are in one of the more disruptive periods of the ECM market evolution. The dominant architecture and deployment model for on-premises, complex ECM suites are transitioning to flexible platforms, specifically designed to deliver useful apps to meet specific needs. Newer offerings and newer vendors have reimagined what the market needs and they have taken advantage of the flexibility, scalability, and continuous improvement opportunities that cloud services provide. ECM is transitioning to services-driven platforms that let designers deliver granular content apps that allow users to work the way they like, whether it is over the web, mobile, or even through another application like a CRM or online office productivity tool.

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are having significant impacts on these content platforms. Intelligent content services from major cloud providers that offer automated image tagging, language translations, and voice-driven actions are exciting developments that are helping to solve some of the common obstacles that traditional ECM deployments have not been able to handle such as categorizing content at large scale, automating security or life cycle policy application and proactively recommending relevant content and subject matter experts before resorting to searching.

We are also starting to see some innovation in how content is created. Content is being broken down into components, and we now need to think about how to author and manage chunks that can be reused in other documents or exposed in other applications. Automation will play an even more significant role in the future when it comes to pulling information from structured systems or from static documents as a way to get the data to kick off a process. Content can live in the cloud indefinitely. Teams can collaborate simultaneously across time zones and business boundaries faster and more efficiently, leading to even greater process efficiencies in content management.

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Jun 3 21
Christina Zumwalt
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