Content Services, the Future of ECM

For the past 10 or more years businesses have been bombarded with various strategies and tools they can leverage to manage user devices. Anyone working in technology has, at some point, been pointed to the importance of establishing a policy for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Businesses of all sizes have accepted that employees, contractors, and clients want to work a certain way. Successful businesses have learned to adapt to the way their people want to work.

The content management industry is not shielded from this movement. To be clear, I’m not talking about content management vendors adapting to make their platform more mobile friendly.

Single ECM, your EA’s dream.

Technology leaders need to adopt a content management strategy that caters to how and where users want to work. Ideally, every user producing content will push their product to a single location. A single source of record for the entire enterprise. This is Utopia for the modern day enterprise architect. Unfortunately, persuading users to work in a single CMS is difficult, and sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.

It is time, once again, for us to look at how and where users tend to work. We need allow users to build in their own sandbox, but then how do we delineate our digital content landscape if it is so widely dispersed? It’s time to treat content as a service. What does that even mean? Try to think of content, digital binary content, as you would metadata. Grabbing metadata from a database or service is fast, simple, and easy. If you login to a system you’re passing and receiving metadata with an expectation that it will be delivered quickly no matter the source or how many times it changes hands. Why not treat content the same way?

How users want to work.


Leveraging a content service tool like Simflofy or M-Files, users can work where they want, business processes built around your ECM can still flow, and your enterprise architect can create a clear map of your digital content landscape. With the proper tool in place you can manage content in other systems without the need to migrate. Federated search is now an option, allowing your users to find content across several ECMs from a single source.

Content services platform, making things easy.


So what’s the ROI? Allowing users to work in the place of their choosing will ultimately benefit your business. There is ample evidence to show employee autonomy and productivity go hand in hand. Sure you have goals for your content, real goals. We all want to increase business process performance, manage compliance and regulations, and control the production lifecycle. These can still be accomplished without changing the way your users work.

Employee autonomy is just one of the many benefits. A good content service tool will give you control over all of your digital content. This allows you to reduce your infrastructure footprint by easily identifying and removing un(der) utilized systems. Use federated search to track down duplicates and stop the need to constantly migrate. When users move to a new system, phase out the old system in a “lazy” manner, only moving over what’s really needed.

Rather than empowering users at the detriment of your enterprise architect’s sanity, empower both users and architects alike.


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