Have you heard the latest buzz, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is dead? Last December, Gartner announced that it was retiring the term ECM and replacing it with “Content Services.” Not to be left out, Forrester took things a bit further by dividing the market into two areas: Transactional Content Services and Business Content Services, for which the legacy ECM would fall. Finally, the industry watch tank, AIIM, recently announced the move to Intelligent Information Management (IIM). So, what does all this mean, and should you really care?
I have been in this industry long enough to see the transition from microforms to COLD (Computer Output to Laser Disk) to Document Management to Knowledge Management to Enterprise Content Management to Intelligent Information Management. Companies seem to believe that by updating a catch phrase that they create new relevance and keep the industry current. What is more significant, I believe, is that the industry is vibrant and ever changing to meet the needs of the users. In fact, the futures so bright, I have to wear shades.
I spent the previous week at an executive conference for a major software company with 18 of my peers. My biggest takeaway was that the industry is vibrant and growing and better and more intelligent software are coming out. In fact, the industry has become so main stream that organizations that have not yet embraced the technology and doing so now to avoid the risk of falling behind to their competitors.
Systems are becoming increasingly intelligent. They have the ability to communicate and share information with a host of business applications. Each solution, whether it is an ERP, CRM, custom software and yes, even an Intelligent Information Management system leverage their inherent strengths to form a cohesive enterprise solution for running a company.
For me, the most exciting thing about the future is how integrated IIM solutions have, and will continue to become, part of mission critical applications within an organization. From the ease of inputting information and documents to the intelligent analysis that analytic tools provide, these systems create the type of meaningful benefits that successful companies cannot afford to ignore. Organizations look to the technology to not only grow, but anticipate future needs. The technology provides the foundation from which to assemble, control and distribute information.
Jack Arnston is a Principal at The Priton Group. He can be reached at email@example.com.