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Ready for ECM 2.0? Good. It’s Here.

This article is part of the Best Practices White Paper Knowledge Management [October 2008]


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As business embraces Web 2.0 technologies, what will happen to enterprise content management? There are several important issues raised by Web 2.0:

  • New ways of working. As individual participation and social networking pervade the enterprise, these new ways of working must be enabled while ensuring IT, compliance and other departments can maintain the control they require;
  • More and better metadata. As users generate an ever-greater volume of content, making sense of it will require more and better metadata that supports emerging and unexpected technologies such as data visualization and mashups;
  • Content managed everywhere. As a single content repository can no longer realistically meet demand, it must be replaced with a model that manages content no matter where it resides—even beyond an organization’s borders; and
  • Flexible infrastructure. As scalability expectations rise as a result of Web 2.0 technologies, the underlying infrastructure must become more flexible to manage changing application requirements without compromising security and compliance.

Enterprise 2.0
The broad emergence of dynamic and interactive UI technologies in the enterprise will take advantage of blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, mobile devices and more to facilitate user participation in content-enabled business processes—from within the enterprise as well as beyond. The key will be to facilitate collaboration and creativity without compromising the organization’s need to manage user-generated content.

Another key for the enterprise using Web 2.0 tools—which ARE contributing to new ways of collaborating and proving extraordinarily effective in ad-hoc workgroups—involves stepping up the requirements for security and scalability. This new collaboration isn’t constrained by organizational boundaries; bringing content-enabled applications to the extranet requires even greater protection to ensure things don’t spin out of control.

As your managed content assets grow to billions of objects, simply knowing what’s in there, and how to access it all, is not enough. How do you discover, and use, that information’s value? Search capabilities, no matter how sophisticated, won’t turn information into knowledge. Rather, organizations will rely on analytics and business intelligence to discover connections between people, processes and data, thus uncovering the buried knowledge implicit in information.

Web 2.0 applications require an even simpler way to expose and orchestrate content services. These applications must be dynamic; sometimes, as with mashups, they are even created by the users themselves. Content and business process management systems have already closed ranks. But as Web 2.0-era processes become more widespread, organizations must look beyond process simulation and optimization, making sure to include collaborative approaches in their process automation. In the end, process is not about performing a sequence of tasks, but about getting work done.

It’s impractical for most enterprises to move all their data into a single repository. Within the enterprise, the virtual repository has started addressing this constraint. But Web 2.0 means repositories can be distributed anywhere, inside and outside the enterprise—so the entire "cloud" must now be considered the new virtual repository.

EMC’s Vision for ECM 2.0
EMC has always offered search, metadata management and classification technologies. To that we’re adding folksonomies, social-based knowledge management and more. Top-down enterprise classification based on corporate taxonomies, coupled with community tagging and expertise management, will open a new world in business information value.

Service-oriented architecture (SOA). The EMC Documentum architecture is already services oriented and fully supports Web services-based interfaces. We have long provided our partners with a common set of services for accessing and managing content enterprisewide.

EMC is leveraging its existing content integration framework to build out the most sophisticated virtualization technology yet imagined, enabling applications to manage content no matter where that content physically resides. Using EMC’s virtual repositories, companies can apply a common set of policies and rules—security, retention, location and more—to any information, anywhere.

Enterprise content management 2.0 is introducing a new set of requirements. Web 2.0 technologies must be harnessed without compromising organizational control, security and compliance. The enterprise content management infrastructure must step up in terms of its scalability, services orientation and virtual repositories.


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