If content is King, why are so many people playing hide and seek with the King? And where is King Content heading in the royal business place? For many, the answers are just a royal pain to deal with.
“A lot of business content has been created, and nobody knows it exists. It is buried within e-mails, in shared drives with no organization, and in stand-alone spreadsheets and documents,” according to Dan Keldsen, the Director of Market Intelligence for AIIM, a non-profit industry organization focused on helping users to understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content and business processes.
“Findability has been a growing issue. We asked companies ‘how do you think your tools within the company compare to customer-facing tools’? Generally, companies’
Not being able to find content you need to do you work often results in reinventing the wheel, making decisions based on guesses and not facts, and ultimately preventing a company from reaching its income potential. After all, how much more productive could your team be if they had access to the content needed to make their decisions? How much more value could your team add if their content was shared and findable?
Keldsen wonders, “Why do CFOs believe that saving people time has no cost benefit? If they are able to do more hourly, don’t you make more money? For example, in the insurance world, why is it that Progressive is able to so readily undercut the competition on insurance rates? They’ve streamlined and automated as much as possible – which has enabled them to drive down costs and increase revenues as they run circles around their slower competition. Enterprise content has both revenue potential, and creates hidden costs. This area needs a lot more attention paid to it”.
Welcome Enterprise Content Management 2.0, or ECM 2.0. As you might guess, like everything else that ends in “2.0”, this is more about social sharing. Its roots go back into the 1950s Knowledge Management movement. The focus was and remains that effectively capturing and sharing content and knowledge creates a powerful advantage. There were some ingenious typewriter and filing systems that empowered innovation with this theory. Networked computers empowered more recent KM systems that leverage all company content. This powers innovation, patents and huge savings.
Technology has reached a point where security and content features are more empowering. “Breaking down the silos within a business depends more upon what the cultural and strategy barriers are instead of the technology at this point.” Permissions can finally be set as a business rule, requiring more planning, but less “hands on” work.
ECM 2.0 implementations appear to be on the increase. A new level of transparency, likely fueled by regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, are likely helping the cause. “SarBox” requires many companies to retain and be able to retrieve electronic documentation, including e-mail. After all, if you have to comply, why not make money doing it?
Keldsen finds that “as you progress in technology and cultural readiness, you move from ECM 1.0, the ‘Islands of Me’ stage to ECM 2.0, the ‘Islands of We’ stage where knowledge sharing replaces the silos [of content and knowledge].”
Progress in cultural readiness. Ahhh. There’s the rub. It’s not just a hardware and software solution. Darn!
This caused Keldsen and AIIM Market Intelligence VP Carl Frappaolo to study users. Who may be excluded from this “cultural readiness”? What they found fell in line with other studies on social media and industry analyst Gartner’s Generation Virtual report.
“It doesn’t matter what your age is,” said Keldsen. “If you get it, you get it. If you don’t, you don’t. You can’t afford to use any system that will delay things in a way you will fall behind.”
Wayne Kurtzman is a senior marketing analyst who loves the shiny toys of technology and online communities. He has led knowledge management and web analytics practices for startups and larger companies including Intel. Wayne also is active at the international level of Destination ImagiNation, a not-for-profit organization that fosters teamwork, innovation and creative problem solving skills in students from kindergarten through college.