Surprisingly Obvious: The ascent of the Enterprise Content Management system
It is perhaps unsurprising that in the current era of digital transformation the value of company data or content is not only growing, but in most instances, growing exponentially. As it extends across multiple platforms, from mobile to web and over a sea of business applications, this content has become the lifeblood of the organisation.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the more we are able to learn about how to unlock the potential of content, the greater its value. But with so much at stake, it still surprises me to hear how often this value is locked into disconnected, disparate and even defunct systems.
in a system?
One telling observation on how content is approached
from an IT procurement perspective is the variety of Content Management Systems
(CMSs) you'll find in one organisation, against the single ERP or CRM
application. This might seem like an odd comparison. After all, CMS' were not
designed for such a broad application. In addition, those older enterprise
systems have evolved over time to become a component of IT strategy. So perhaps
it's just a little too early to be talking about a single CMS?
The problem is that without taking a broad
view on the value of a single CMS today, you risk making decisions that will lead
to greater fragmentation in tomorrow's IT. For instance, as we know too well,
business content in many organisations is increasingly shared across devices
that are out of IT's control and even with people who are not registered
employees. Attempting to counter this trend through restrictive governance
policies flies in the face of what has actually made end users, and the company
Adopting a single enterprise-level CMS
opens the door to less 'stifling' IT strategies, and while no mainstream
application exists as yet, there is compelling evidence of its potential -
particularly in resource constrained organisations.
a single CMS
The charity Oxfam has a pretty clear
productivity goal which is to ensure 80 pence in every pound it receives goes
directly towards those who need it most. This leaves a mere 12 pence for
fundraising and 8 pence to cover running costs, of which IT is only a small
part. The added challenge is that this global charity is structured around a
large independent confederation.
The confederation has led to a highly
fragmented IT organisation that was not only incurring costs as a result of
overlapping systems but also impacted the productivity of its humanitarian
efforts. The charity has since moved toward a unified content platform which
has dramatically simplified the way users collaborate across 17 affiliates in the
90 countries they are present.
Peterborough City Council (PCC) in the UK,
recently took a similar decision to move toward a single CMS, supporting the
various services it offers. In fact, by moving to a cloud-based CMS it was able
address two key challenges: Integrating content across previously disparate
systems and avoiding investment in upgrade to new hardware it could ill afford.
The council's broader ambition is to build
a platform that creates an environment for faster interaction with its citizens
and communities. The near-term goal is integrate content with a CRM system,
enterprise social networking, and single sign-on identity.
It's this view of the CMS 'as a platform'
where we start to see serious potential. Firstly, there's the obvious advantage
that comes with a content API: tighter integration with existing systems,
automation of work processes and the opportunity for custom built apps.
This can be further enhanced with the
introduction of Metadata offering richness to the overall integration. There's
also better control of the content experience so that it looks great on any
screen. Management and security also becomes that much stronger as you can
effectively track, analyse and audit every piece of content.
This may seem theoretical but through our
work we have gained some practical insights into moving toward a single CMS.
First and foremost you need to start building an honest view of your content
landscape from the end user perspective. You might find they are struggling
with poor experiences or collaboration capabilities; it could even be an
inability to access content from mobile devices.
Then investigate and plan for change. The
key here is not to view content in isolation. The more ways you can enable your
employees, the more likely they will adopt a new or refreshed content strategy. Beyond this you can then look forward toward
a single CMS. In doing so, there are a number of factors to consider but the
most pressing is whether this CMS can itself be an enterprise-wide platform.
It may be surprisingly obvious but the
single, Enterprise CMS can ultimately become the heart of your digital
Credit photo : Box