Great whitepaper available at Deep Analysis from long-time ECM analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe entitled “Intelligent Information Management – From ECM 1.0 to 2.0”. This post will highlight the relevant points and add our thoughts.
ECM 2.0 – What are the opportunities?
We would agree with Alan that, while repository centric ECM 1.0 systems dominate the market, 2.0 opportunities exist to offer more insight, automation and decentralization. Combined with new technology from cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, we would expect other technology like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to offer additional 2.0 capabilities in the future.
Alan sees the shift to ECM 2.0 coming from seven factors
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- An increased regulatory burden
- Easy access to cloud storage and distributed processing capabilities
- The need to manage, route, and control multiple sources of inputs including an overwhelming amount of unstructured data
- Increased need to process and act on data quickly
- The cumulative cost of storing large volumes of unmanaged and hard-to-access data
- The move to API and service-based architectures
Alan’s main point for 2.0 is that clients will be moving from Centralized Repository Control 1.0 solutions to more De-Centralized Data and File Control 2.0. ECM 2.0, documents and files will live in multiple places and are subject to multiple processes and workflows. ECM 2.0 looks to add the capabilities mentioned above at a reduced cost from current 1.0 systems. Increasingly, clients will be able to leverage the cloud (AWS/Azure) either with ECM vendors or on their own to build capable, DIY systems ECM systems.
Alan expertly summarizes his thought at the end of the paper
ECM 1.0 is not going away anytime soon because it still serves a solid and valuable service, particularly to mid-sized firms that have little in the way of control of regular back-office processes. But for larger and more ambitious firms that have already addressed Information Management practices for back-office processes, ECM 2.0 opens up a range of possibilities to leverage the rich, yet currently unloved legacy silos of data they have accumulated, while also extracting more value from new content and automating many more activities down the line. The shift will be a major undertaking, but do not be overwhelmed. In many cases, the first step may just be simply moving the files to cloud storage. As the Chinese saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
TSG highly recommends those interested in learning more download/purchase the entire whitepaper.
ECM 2.0 – TSG Thoughts
While the ECM 1.0 approached focused on the single repository, TSG would agree that smarter, and cloud-based object storage technologies will push away from the repository managing the content to a more distributed approach with multiple tools where repositories manage more links and content is distributed widely over the organization based on need as well as security and regulatory requirements. Clients will consider whether the migrations to cloud storage need to be managed by one, many or any ECM tools.
We would agree with Alan that corporate mandates for ‘cloud first’ as well as pressure to lower costs will be one of the main pressures to consider moving from a 1.0 on premise system to a 2.0 cloud based system. We would also see increased regulatory as well as user capabilities as another justification for moving. Future capabilities with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are coming but will be hard to justify in the short-term and could be over-hyped and get lost in the marketing world of vendor speak. Smart customers will evaluate newer technology for deriving true business benefits before cost-justifying any major purchase or development effort.
ECM 2.0 – Other Thoughts
While Alan’s paper focuses on the market as a whole, TSG would add other thoughts around what innovative customers are already doing that we would view as ECM 2.0. Some trends include:
- Goodbye File Manager – Hello Search and Case – We have mentioned it here often but 1.0 clients were looking to have a better File Manager/Network Drive and many of the interfaces focused on a “do all” interface. See our comparison blog posts for Documentum and Alfresco in regards to a 2.0 search interface or Case Management.
- Goodbye Oracle – Hello Big Data – Clients looking for cost efficiencies as well as taking advantage of distributed content stores will look for modern repositories that can horizontally scale without the costs and difficulties of old-school relational databases. See our thoughts (and look for an upcoming paper from Alan and Deep Analysis) on how Big Data will disrupt Document Management.
- Hello Analytics/Machine Learning – Rather than having to always search for terms, the system can leverage machine learning/predictive search to alert users or better analyze patterns. See our thoughts on Case Analytics.
- Goodbye Enterprise Search – Finally – We have been mentioning this for some time but, given the ability to distribute content, we see a focus on sending content to where it is needed rather than a “one stop search”. See our thoughts on a Publishing Approach for Search.
- Annotations AND Redaction – with documents being distributed, the ability to protect the information contained becomes more important. Couldn’t help but see the news about Paul Manafort’s lawyers the improperly redacting documents (and not the underlying text). We are seeing ECM 2.0 clients do automation of redactions.
We are always looking for feedback – feel free to share your own thoughts on what ECM 2.0 will bring below.