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Content Management Simplicity Shouldn’t be an Oxymoron

Simple vs complex graphic

sim·plic·i·ty (simˈplisədē) -- noun

  1. the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do.

Three years ago, three interrelated data points in an AIIM report (ECM Decisions Strategic Options for Managing, Accessing and Preserving Content) caught my eye:

  • “62% of organizations with ECM systems are still reliant on their file shares.”
  • “The biggest current issue among organizations with ECM systems is improving user adoption (45%).”
  • “Only 39% of organizations have some sort of mobile access to their ECM systems.”

All of this was the legacy of early document and content management systems that tended to be overly complex. These solutions were focused on use by specialists rather than by everyday knowledge workers; were driven by IT staff rather than the business; and were not designed with usability and mobility in mind.  The net result was an explosion of user resistance upon implementation.

As an industry executive, these data points bothered me because of they said about the content management industry and the ease of use of our solutions. As a Docuware executive, they became an inspiration to increase the simplicity and ease of use of our solution.

Content management simplicity shouldn’t be an oxymoron.

Content management now means considerably more than just archiving and managing documents electronically. It’s ultimately a system that empowers geographically dispersed knowledge workers to participate in digital workflows. These automated workflows expedite routine tasks so knowledge works can concentrate on work that contributes to meeting key business goals.

Cloud content management innovations have driven dramatic enhancements in the end-user experience. According to a new AIIM report issued a few years after the above report, 76% of organizations are investigating a variety of cloud content management options – some simple and some complex – but the key point is that cloud document management is now on the radar screen for most organizations (which it wasn’t as recently as five years ago). 

Steve Jobs once said, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Well said.

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