Should Content Services Platforms replace legacy ECM Platforms?
19 Jul 2021
We discuss why ECM platforms are the new vinyl and why integration with cloud based CSP’s could be the new normal.
Once revolutionary technologies reach the end of their life before we know it. Just look at the media formats we have happily left behind over the last 50 years. Remember:
- VHS tapes
- Cassette tape
All consigned to the history books as newer, more powerful or user-friendly alternatives became available. Only vinyl has stood the test of time. Although its impracticalities and retro style left it in the wilderness for a few years. Its unique sound quality and legacy has endured.
It is a similar story with legacy Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platforms, which have been overtaken by modern Content Services Platforms (CSP). But in this analogy which tech are ECM’s? Betamax, outdated and destined for the technology graveyard, or vinyl records, old-school but still have their place.
The history of legacy ECM’s
Coined in 2000 to describe techniques and tools for dealing with the digitisation of a company's knowledge base, the concept of ECM was welcomed as a means of easily describing the more holistic and encompassing approach to document management being adopted by many organisations at the time.
ECM fostered the idea that there was a need for the management of a much wider range of content capabilities; from records management and library services, to document output across an entire enterprise.
However, ECM never truly provided an over-arching solution to the content issues many companies faced.
As the need for information clarity grew, many ECM platform users ended up with multiple systems or repositories for managing their content, and often these disparate systems were entirely disconnected.
The rise and rise of CSP’s
Flexible and dynamic, Content Services Platforms not only fulfil the role of legacy ECM systems in terms of capture, classification and document management, but also encompass a much wider range of technologies; from file synchronisation and sharing tools to content federation and migration services.
Bringing these rapidly evolving aspects of enterprise IT together calls for the business world to embrace this evolutionary shift from ECM to CSP. Unlike many ECM applications, vendors within the Content Services space are lean, agile and built for cloud and mobile delivery.
It is this shift in thinking towards a streamlined, connected approach to content management that has already won over so many enterprises to migrate and upgrade to smart CSP platforms.
An overdue change for the better?
Digital transformation has changed the expectations of users, and the general trend is now towards the implementation of intuitive enterprise solutions which closely reflect those used in our personal lives.
The expected digital experience for end-users is for technologies to combine the kind of ease-of-use found in consumer technologies, such as Dropbox or iCloud, with the ability to seamlessly deliver contextually relevant content whenever and wherever it is needed. This is on top of most CIO’s wish list for scalable, adaptable and highly connective solutions to meet the needs of the modern business landscape as it moves to the cloud.
The concept of Content Services encompasses these desires and offers a natural progression from the function-specific model of legacy ECM systems to one where the cloud, mobile, metadata and a host of other modern technologies can be used to empower effective management of business-critical information.
Integration or Migration?
The implementation of a modern CSP means that existing systems and content repositories do not need to be retired but increase in value as a CSP is utilized to manage information residing in diverse distributed systems.
Not only does this allow users to find critical information quickly regardless of where that information resides but, thanks to the integration of a CSP with other core business systems, content can be delivered in context. This transforms content and data into readily available business intelligence and actionable insight. Vastly improving business decision-making.
However, revolutions in IT do not happen overnight. Regardless of how pressing the need for a more holistic approach to content management is, the reality is many businesses are heavily invested in legacy ECM platforms and immediately migrating away from these may not seem practical, especially in the short term. Integration is key.
Hesitation to modernise could be exacerbating the issues inherent in the reliance on legacy ECM platforms. Whilst full migration may be too big an undertaking, integration of core legacy ECM processes with adoption of modern cloud-based Content Services Platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 with SharePoint, Oracle Cloud and M-Files, means you can meet the accessibility demands of the modern workplace plus the growing business need for contextually relevant content. By retaining the valuable parts of your legacy system and adopting the best bits of modern cloud-based platforms you can have your cake and eat it!
ECM Platforms: the new vinyl
To help your business avoid the same fate as Betamax, find how the successful adoption and integration of modern Content Services can facilitate growth for your business by speaking to our content experts. Discover the practical next steps to deploy a content services platform that can provide critical business intelligence without the headaches often associated with content migration or adoption of a new platform. Get in touch with our content experts today.