ECM Features to Look for in 2010 - InformationWeek
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12/14/2009
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Ruth Blanco
Ruth Blanco
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ECM Features to Look for in 2010

There are five areas that we hope enterprise content management (ECM) vendors will explore in 2010, and as buyers, we hope that you will press for roadmaps on these fronts prior to making a purchase.

Over the last several years, there has been a lot of consolidation among enterprise content management (ECM) vendors. Still, enterprise organizations have a lot of vendor from which to choose, and the competition remains fierce.

There are five areas that we hope vendors will explore in 2010, and as buyers, we hope that you will press for roadmaps on these fronts prior to making a purchase.

1. Focus on improving search capabilities. In today's enterprise, information is coming from around the world in every possible format, including e-mail messages, project documents, tweets, forum updates, Web pages, blog posts and so on. The companies with an edge will be able to serve up new data instantly as it becomes available. This is only possible with a robust, real-time search engine.

2. Expanded support for new types of content production workflows. New, non-traditional content production workflows are emerging. Tools such as wikis are blurring the traditional roles of author, editor and reader. In addition to being about content production workflows tied to business processes, ECM is also about the everyday production, management, and use of content that keep knowledge workers busy.

3. Strive to get a piece of the cloud. The cloud as a style of computing is exciting as it has proven to be cost effective. The cloud as a "feature" is potentially confusing, but ECM vendors are going to have to do what they can to integrate it somewhere into their roadmaps.

4. Take advantage of metadata. People are increasingly embedding metadata in everything they do, as when they upload and share photos or when they write blog posts. They tag and describe the content with the purpose of sharing it with others and helping others find their content. But metadata categorized by social-tagging methods does not fit into the typical standards of enterprise data sets. Therefore, vendors should try to apply the data-cleansing and data-integration tools used for on-premise data to social data drawn from the cloud.

5. Focus on specific industries. Each industry has specific needs around content management. As an example, we have heard President Obama talk about the proposed electronic medical records initiative as a way to create jobs and to spend the stimulus package. ECM vendors will naturally want to be part of the action, and they are in a good position to bring value to the health care market. Federal agencies and many state and local governments already use verticalized ECM solutions, so vendors add more packages to meet the specific needs of other vertical markets?

Demand more of the products in 2010 and ensure that vendors have the right roadmap that aligns to your organization's needs.There are five areas that we hope enterprise content management (ECM) vendors will explore in 2010, and as buyers, we hope that you will press for roadmaps on these fronts prior to making a purchase.

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