I posted recently about how I felt ECM was a big part of Capgemini's recently launched Insights & Data Global Practice. At the same time we have done some thinking about what ECM is in 2015 and how it may evolve over the next few years. This also coincided with the AIIM Report on their vision for ECM in 2020.
At the heart of the message in the document from AIIM is that ECM as a label for what we do needs replacing, yet at this stage what that will be remains undefined. I relate to this without fully agreeing to it, but what is more important is looking at what it is that we help our customers to achieve and this led me to come up with the following:
Compliance - this has been one of the cornerstones of the ECM world for the past 20 years. We help our customers to manage their information in a manner which is compliant to the regulatory and legal needs of the business and region in which they operate. This include solutions such as Records Management and eDiscovery.
Collaborate - this is an area of big change as the concept of collaboration is changing at a great pace. In the past this was as simple as being able to share a document between people, now this has increased to include many more different 'types' of information and the way in which people to interact is much more dynamic. Solutions in this space include Intranets, Digital Workplace and File Sync and Share.
Insight - it is often quoted that > 80% of information is stored in unstructured data formats such as documents. Until recently the majority of effort in getting value from information was focussed on < 20% part but with advances in technology we are seeing the focus moving to the unstructured world. This is enabling organisations to get greater value out of their information pool and to better inform their decision making process. Products such as IBM Watson are leading the charge in this area.
Productivity - another staple of the ECM world in recent years has been to increase the productivity within our customers, largely through the implementation of content-centric process applications such as Invoice Management, Claims Management and Case Management. Where unstructred data remains the primary source of information in these processes then these solution will continue to be of value to our customers.
Of course there will be circumstances where these pillars crossover, consider applications where the content in the Case Management solution needs to be managed accoridng to specific legals needs or where business can apply analytical tools on Claims Management to provide Insight on how they can offer different commercial models for their customers. However I think there are the 4 key areas which we in ECM (as it is currently labelled) provide and will continue to provide value for our customers moving forward. The technologies we use to provide this value is changing but more on that in another post...