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Chris Murphy
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Content Management Problem? That May Be A Good Sign

Collaboration has such a lovely "let 1,000 flowers bloom" ring to it. IT teams know it means pulling a lot of weeds, too, but it sure beats the alternative.

Collaboration has such a lovely "let 1,000 flowers bloom" ring to it. IT teams know it means pulling a lot of weeds, too, but it sure beats the alternative.At Pfizer, it means tending the 6,000 Microsoft SharePoint sites used by 63,000 employees -- all of which have sprouted in just over a year. It's one of several examples in the current InformationWeek cover story that argues that the explosive growth of unstructured content requires a rethinking of enterprise content management strategies. The article describes how Pfizer's thinking about the challenge:

[Dave Biersach, associate director at Pfizer] takes the enterprise content management part of ECM seriously. Pfizer has about 1.5 TBs of SharePoint content in its SANs, and he expects to have about 6 TBs in two years. But he's determined not to let SharePoint become an information landfill. "If three years from now we see 15 TBs, that would indicate a loss of governance."

Having this problem should be a point of pride for IT teams. SharePoint is growing like kudzu in Georgia for a reason -- given the chance, people crave the collaboration and control SharePoint and other tools like it allow. IT teams need to answer that kind of demand.

Yes, it's creating a runaway bloom of unstructured content that IT teams need to figure out how to manage. Better that than a company where there's no place for this kind of collaboration to even take root.

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