Times have truly changed, and so have the demands of organizations. Enterprises grapple with more data and content than ever before on a daily basis. The types of information an organization must manage aren't just limited to documents or PDF attachments but now include videos, images, and audio, resulting in bigger and bigger file sizes.
Despite substantial information technology (IT) investments made in systems for storing and managing enterprise content, most employees still spend an inordinate amount of time each day navigating between different systems, content repositories, cloud apps, and various file stores in order to find the information they need to do their jobs. As a result, most organizations struggle to get real value out of their existing enterprise content management (ECM) systems.
We all know there is tremendous business value in providing workers with fast, easy access to information, but we seldom talk about how difficult it is for modern enterprises to do so effectively. Clearly, we need a new approach to information management.
The Rise of Modern Content Services PlatformsIn an effort to provide a holistic view of an organization’s entire content ecosystem, content services platforms (CSP) are designed to connect and consolidate content and data from across various repositories, applications, and cloud environments—a marked departure from traditional ECM solutions that asked companies to put all of their information into one, single repository. With the increasingly dynamic information management needs of the modern digital enterprise, that approach is outdated and unrealistic in today’s connected business environment.
However, the reality is that not all CSPs are created equal. Here are some key features you should consider before deciding which solution to deploy:
- Content-Agnostic: In addition to managing documents and files, most ECM systems can store photos and videos, but they don’t actually allow users to do much with them. Look for a solution with established digital asset management (DAM) capabilities designed to ingest multi-gigabyte files and the ability to move them around, all without impacting the usability of the system.
- Open Source: Many information management technologies are proprietary, closed systems that inhibit integration. Organizations should look for a CSP that is open source, which enables developing innovative solutions and applications without massive amounts of time, resources, or custom coding.
- AI-Enabled: Most CSPs are still in the very early stages of adopting and deploying artificial intelligence (AI) within their solutions, but some have moved beyond the initial stage of simple tagging to high-value applications, such as metadata extraction and enrichment. The more advanced platforms enable “zero touch” ingestion of new digital assets. Here, customers can train on their own datasets and use the system to analyze text or tags, determine sentiment analysis, and/or trigger automated workflows.
- Cloud-Native: Many vendors will refer to their software as cloud-based, but in reality, they are offering a cloud-hosted version of their on-premises application. Insist on a true cloud-native platform that offers all the infrastructure benefits and efficiencies of cloud computing, such as agility, high availability, and scalability. That way, as newer technologies (like AI) become more readily available, enterprises can simply plug them into the platform.
- Connected: Look for a CSP that features open, standards-based REST APIs and a flexible metadata model. This ensures easy integration with other modern applications, provides a low-code platform for rapidly building content-centric apps, and offers robust capabilities to manage both text and non-text content types, like audio, images, and video.
David Jones is an established thought leader within the information management space. He is Director of Product Marketing at Nuxeo. He has worked with technologies, such as analytics, cloud, and electronic content management, in a wide range of vertical industries for over 20 years and has occupied roles with AIIM and Hyland, respectively. For more, follow him on Twitter @InstinctiveDave or visit www.nuxeo.com.