Cloudy with a chance of AIIM
This year the AIIM Conference headed to sunny Orlando, with the organization that originally coined the term ECM now moving onto a new horse – Information Governance (IG).
AIIM has often been accused of either being behind the times or, ironically, being too ahead of the game. That’s why the annual conference is so important. It provides an opportunity each year to allow the ECM/Information Governance populous to take to the stage and deliver their view of what is happening in the industry.
Here are my top three takeaways.
1. Cloud is here
I’ve been touting the importance and impending arrival of ECM in the Cloud for a while now. Well, it appears that the rest of the ECM community is now starting to agree with me – every second conversation seemed to be about the cloud. But there is still confusion over exactly “what” ECM in the Cloud can be – is it file-sharing, external access to on-premises content, or shrink-wrapped, rapid delivery SaaS services?
Honestly, all of those form part of the ECM in the Cloud ecosystem. All have validity in certain situations and need to be considered. The important part is that we are getting over the “I would never put my content in the cloud” mental hurdle that has hindered people adopting the cloud for too long.
2. Capture is still here
Despite many people, myself included, trying to continually move the conversation onto the Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) stack, many organizations are still working through their capture requirements. Getting capture right (and I don’t mean just scanning – I mean capturing data from all the relevant sources) is the key to making any ECM deployment a success.
All too often vendors concentrate on the sexy ways users can access content once it is in their system. Yes, but you’ve got to get it there first! Those vendors and end users taking an integrated approach to capture by hooking it into the SMAC stack are those that will prosper – and I predict we’ll start to see very good examples of this by the time we hit the AIIM conference next year.
3. Choose presentations wisely
There were some excellent keynote presentations, including Guy Kawasaki, John Mancini, Thornton May and Johnny Lee. But therein lies the rub. Which one to attend? My advice whenever you’re attending large conferences with numerous speaking sessions: don’t try to attend them all. Be strategic, and make sure to check out the speaker’s bio before committing.
Overall, AIIM14 was a fantastic conference – and well worth a visit if you work in or with ECM. But what about that new acronym, IG, I hear you say? For me, IG is quite simply the way you do ECM. It’s the mechanisms, the processes and the safeguards required to successfully deliver an ECM solution into a workplace. That’s not to diminish its importance at all – it is vital – but new it is not.
Perhaps the progression of the conversation to IG means that the ECM world has grown up. It is now assumed that organizations need ECM, so we need to focus on effective ways of delivering it.