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Legos, Tinker Toys, Duplo Blocks and Content Management

Legos, tinker toys, duplo blocks

A few months ago, we asked 180 senior executives for their perspective on their existing content management system – “How well do your existing IM/DM/RM systems meet your needs in the following core areas?”

The percentage that responded “fails” or “struggles” is pretty alarming.

Percentage responding “fails” or “struggles”

Cloud capability


Mobile device access


Overcoming information sprawl and data silos


Usability and intuitive design


Having spent 20+ years in the content space, this is certainly a bit discouraging.

One reason for these challenges is the way that ECM solutions evolved over the years. Many comprehensive solutions are the result of a series of mergers and acquisitions, adding product X, product Y, and product Z to the mix in to solve content problems that required increasingly complicated sets of content capabilities. Often these acquisitions featured new and/or inconsistent code bases that were then incorporated and integrated into the original solution.

Connecting the software equivalent of Legos, Tinker Toys, and Duplo blocks worked pretty well for a time. But as the need for more modular content capabilities spread into multiple layers and processes – and as these capabilities needed to be accessed in mobile applications and on mobile devices – some strains began to show. The pain of keeping all these on-premises capabilities in synch grew as individual components were updated to the latest version.  Most notably, these difficulties were felt in the core areas listed above – cloud, mobile, findability, and usability.

Response to these challenges is at the core of the generational change in Enterprise Content Management solutions that is currently underway. Never before have I heard so many user organizations talking about content platform rationalization and migration and modernization. 

Over 80% of organizations now say they are moving in the direction of either a cloud strategy or a hybrid cloud/on-premises strategy. That is a clear change from where things were as recently as three years ago.

At the heart of this demand for content management solutions that are more cloud and mobile compatible is a desire to rethink how to connect – with a minimum of customization and a maximum of configuration – all of the various Lego, Tinker Toy, and Duplo content management capabilities that are necessary to a modern organization and its processes. Whether you call this content services (like Gartner does) or just the evolution of ECM capabilities, the core objective is the same – using the cloud to make all of this easier than it has been in the past.

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