Image by: Jennifer Chen, ©2017 Getty Images

Every December, we feature the 10 most popular articles on our site as a retrospective look at the topics and market trends that inspired us, challenged our established views, and pushed us to think outside of the box. Market disruption and a shifting technology landscape have become a fact of life, and 2017 is proving to be no different. As fall fast approaches and our attention turns to 2018 , we wanted to highlight some of the top articles that caught the interest of so many of our readers.

5. The Comeback of Direct Mail by Gilles Biscos
Perhaps, no other article this year inspired such an enthusiastic response as this one. Yes, folks, direct mail is back—maybe not at the level of its heyday before the 2009 recession—but it still remains a proven, effective channel to reach your customers. According to the Winterberry Group, US direct mail spending increased by 3.1% annually from 2013 to 2015. Yet, mobile and online channels continue to take a growing share of the marketing budget.

4. Top Trends in Customer Communications for 2017 by Scott Draeger
At times, the customer communications management (CCM) space seems to be changing faster than we can keep up with. With the emerging trends in analytics, mobile strategies, social engagement, and the customer journey, document professionals must view their communications with a new customer-centric lens.

3. Content Technology Update: Iron Mountain, Xerox, Kofax, and OpenText on the Move by Holly Muscolino and Terry Frazier
The only thing you can count on these days is that nothing will remain the same. In April, we saw some big acquisitions, integrations, and new products from several large content and workflow technology vendors. With five months still left in the year, we will have to wait and see how the latest shifts in the technology landscape impact our enterprise strategies—and what the marketplace still has in store for us.

In the wake of increasing demand for sophisticated and contextual experiences, the CCM industry is undergoing a revolution—with content sitting at the very center of the storm. We will continue to see the drive toward integrations, content reusability, movement toward the cloud, and layering communications services where needed as organizations begin to embrace a real dialogue with their customers.

1. Predicting the Future of Documentum and EMC's ECD by Marko Sillanpaa
2017 started off with a bang, as OpenText continued to acquire companies at warp speed. This has not abated at all, with their latest announcements to buy Covisint, a cloud provider for digital identity management and Internet of things (IoT) applications, and Guidance Software, a leader in forensic security and endpoint information security solutions. Furthermore, in July, OpenText officially entered the artificial intelligence (AI) fray, with the announcement of Magellan, the company's new AI platform, which combines open source machine learning with advanced analysis capabilities.

We still have a ways to go until we ring in the New Year, but I hope this must-read list encourages discussion and reflection on how to deliver real business outcomes for the future. Make sure to come back in December when we look at the top 10 articles of the year to see where we ended up.

Allison Lloyd serves as the Editor of DOCUMENT Strategy Media. She delivers thought leadership on strategic and plan-based solutions for managing the entire document, communication, and information process. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonYLloyd.