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Transparent Content Management in a Multi-Repository World

Content is everywhere, and its volume and variety continue to expand. Most experts agree that the data will double every two years at least, a 50-fold growth from 2010 to 2020.

A single-repository ECM approach is no longer viable for many organizations, and traditional ECMs continue to age. A forward-looking perspective must seek ways to standardize information governance between platforms instead of gather information under one platform.

Where are we now?

Every organization produces information that is critical to the daily operations of its business. The information produced resides in many formats, is stored in many locations, and has many different uses, all with varying levels of value and requirements that dictate its creation, use, and ultimately, destruction.

While most organizations recognize that information plays a critical role in their business such as making strategic decisions, protecting their business in litigation, processing transactions, documenting activities, and simply being necessary for its employees to perform their daily workload, most organizations struggle with how to effectively govern this information.

While some organizations have intricate policies in place surrounding their information, there are still many that may not fully grasp what it means for information to be governed.

A quote from our own Mike Alsup from his recent CMSwire article sums it up:

The tidal wave of information is accelerating. Companies enlist multiple ECM repositories to handle this, creating further problems rather than solutions. Nothing can be found, managed or governed.

Where are we going?

In order to reap the benefits of information governance across an entire organization, a new approach must be taken: a holistic approach. This means that, when it comes to information governance, the business must be viewed as a whole, which is what an organization should be doing in all of its facets.

Records and information not only live in ECM repositories, they live on file shares, in email servers, tucked into file cabinets and file rooms, on cloud‐based systems, social media, communication platforms, and in line-of-business (LOB) systems. Knowing where the information lives is the first step to proficiently governing any organization’s information assets.

With industry experts projecting that content doubles every two years, it is evident that the sooner an organization gets a handle on its information governance practices, the easier it will be to implement an overarching solution which optimizes and protects the organization to the world’s ever-increasing and demanding needs.

Again, a great quote from Mike Alsup helps to tell this story:

The question will become “Why don’t you move everything or leave everything in Office 365 or Google or AWS?”

I predict the concept of organizations taking content out of Office 365, especially email, in order to govern it will cease to be a useful concept in 2017. Leave the repository driving to us.

How do we get there?

After establishing policies, and coming to the realization that the information governance practice cannot be implemented without the proper tools in place to support it, the organization will then need to put a system in place to effectively govern its information.

The system will need to secure the content, restrict its usage to only those who should have access, and automate the retention and disposition of information. However, taking a holistic approach results in a lot of disparate systems that must be managed.

Because of this, the most important piece of the puzzle will be the transparency we discussed last week. Instead of relying on siloed systems that lock data down, there must be a move towards open platforms capable of handling all types of data across the enterprise.

This is admittedly a radical departure of thought for many in the ECM industry. However, given all that we have discussed, it is clear a change is ahead and the entire industry must be prepared.


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By Cynthia Wood

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