Is ECM Dead?

This week, OpenText held their annual Enterprise World conference in Nashville, Tennessee. We sent Dan Anderson, CEO of SeeUnity to the conference and he came back to us with a question rather than answers. With a smirk he said, “Is ECM dead?”

So we looked into it, gathered some notes from Enterprise World, and came up with an answer for you.

No, ECM is not dead, but it is also something we need to rethink. I know you’re probably asking yourself, “what is there to rethink? Are they trying to make things more complicated than they need to be?” Of course not! Businesses want to be offered solutions rather than just a system or product. So rethinking ECM means rethinking solutions. There are two options for these solutions: 1. Those that produce business productivity and generate adoption through integration, and 2. Those that increase personal productivity, enabling users to access and share information and generate adoption through simplicity.

If you look at the users of ECM, the common complaint is that filing and classification of documents is annoying and redundant. They don’t want to have to file documents into a group of different applications to reach whatever goal it is they are trying to achieve (whether that be governance or document sharing with clients.) If we rethink ECM to be a part of a whole business process, we can directly address that issue by “hiding” the ECM into the business process. Another point made here is that people don’t usually opt-out of an ECM if it is included as a part of the business process.

Another take-away we found interesting was the idea of embedding social collaboration components into your ECM system. Some examples of this would be comments, favorites, and activity feeds. If the ECM has become more user friendly, it is easier to get buy-in from the end users. Mark Barrenecha, CEO and CTO of OpenText, said something very interesting in his keynote address the first day of the conference, that in 2020, 4 years from now, 70% of the work force will be millennials. This could very well play a huge role in why we should really think about embedding social into an ECM system.

Although ECM isn’t dead, it is evolving (just like those Pokemon you’ve been catching) and now might be the best time to rethink ECM.

Posted on: July 18, 2016