The Year ECM Becomes ‘The New Email’
What can we expect in the ECM market in 2015? Howard Frear* gets out his crystal ball.
The three top trends we see as shaping the Document and Enterprise Content Management market in the next few months are cloud, the move from search to ‘findability’ and the acceptance of ECM’s role as a much more central part of the business landscape. So let’s go through these one at a time to explain why.
Cloud gets real
2015 will be all about cloud becoming truly mainstream, for the reasons I probably don’t have to trot out again: lower cost of ownership, immediacy, all that good stuff. Yes, there are genuine (and important) questions still to answer over security, where best to physically locate data and so forth, but cloud is here now. So deal with it!
The go-to action for DM practitioners. You’ll have to start meeting user demand for access to content from wherever they want and from whatever device. Be aware that no one expects us to really ever go to a cloud-only world, though; you will always need to be able to blend both legacy and cloud services, so start learning how to do that now.
We need to stop looking for information – and for information to start looking for us
Is there life beyond Google? Yes; and Google knows this more than anyone else. That’s why it’s constantly innovating with technology and moving things forward, e.g. its fascinating work with predictive search (See here for information about Google Instant http://www.google.co.uk/instant/). What all these years of search engines has shown us is that there’s a lot of info out there … which we have to do the work to find. Better: let’s push that great information the user’s way, so that they are always empowered with knowledge and data. Think of it as making it easier to ‘find’ what they need – hence the idea of ‘findability.’ This is really going to take off, by the way, when Big Data goes mainstream, another 2015 phenomenon to watch out for.
The go-to action for DM practitioners. Look to build great DM-enabled tools to make content as accessible as possible for this coming class of findability tools. Make great organisational knowledge and information assets easy to access and hook on to this trend. It’ll be worth it, as the business will love you for making their lives that much easier!
DM finally gets seen as part of the ‘cost of doing business’
This one probably excites me the most! For too long, DM/ECM has been a niche business. But you know what? As content becomes more and more central to what all organisations of all stripes need to do, that’s changing. ECM is moving to more and more of the centre of the stage – I think of it as the new email; ten years ago, email was a fun novelty, now, is there any business on the planet not using the tool?
Just how will DM become the new email? Businesses know that to maintain profit and increase productivity they need to get people contributing from the get-go. So we’re going to start seeing content-rich business processes become more and more embedded in business; these will allow new employees to drop right in, have immediate access to the customer data they need to do their job, plus get supported from the apps, which will also supply managers with the right data to help guide the whole process. The promise is just add the people and the revenue gets generated from the first minute… and documents and content will be fundamental to that, helping the transportation of the right information through the process from one end to the other.
The go-to action for DM practitioners. Get in on the ground floor with the business, positioning content and DM as the enabler to this new breed of productivity systems. Work closely with the business to start mapping where the real revenue comes from out of a business process, showing how our content systems can help the most.
So that’s my go at predicting the future – what do you think, have I missed anything? I don’t think so… but what is sure is that 2015’s going to be a Hell of a year for our market. So get set!
*Howard Frear, Sales and Marketing Director, EASY Software UK. Howard has been at the forefront of major trends in the software industry for close to 18 years. Howard is a very successful and experienced sales and marketing professional and is the driving force behind EASY SOFTWARE UK’s go-to-market and business development strategy. Day to day Howard is charged with managing the direct sales force, directing key marketing activities and overseeing strategic partner liaison.