Looking back at AIIM17, looking forward with one platform

AIIM17 is in the books — and it was a whirlwind of a conference, filled with talk of digital transformation and glances toward the future.

Information management professionals from all over the world got together in Orlando last week to discuss the evolution of enterprise content management (ECM) into content services; the importance of accepting and managing change; and how to incorporate vision and intelligence into successful strategy.

The Hyland team enjoyed the opportunity to meet many interesting folks in our field and to hear insights from the keynote speakers, session presenters and other attendees. Throughout the week, we couldn’t help but notice a theme that came up again and again, both during sessions and at the many conversations we had with attendees in our booth. People were talking about a shared issue — a common struggle that seemed to transcend industry and organization size.

They were talking about multiple content repositories.

The multiple content repository conundrum

A content repository is simply any location where an organization stores business content – file cabinets, drawers and inboxes; computer desktops, file shares, servers, network shares and folders, drives; different programs and applications; and even multiple ECM solutions. As you can tell by the list, most organizations have more than one.

In fact, one presenter estimated the number of content repositories per organization at a range of five to 25. At that’s within a single organization!

It’s easy to grasp that using many content repositories leads to siloed information, inefficient processes, and difficulty locating critical content. Yet, so many organizations today still juggle several, scattered storage locations. Even organizations that have invested in and deployed core systems are discovering that there is still information these systems cannot easily manage or access, resulting in the ongoing existence of multiple repositories and content that is hard to find.

Complementing core systems

For example, you’ve likely invested in at least one core system to manage key data and operations — whether that’s managing transactional data in an ERP system, information about customers in a CRM application, or employee data in an HCM system. But you have critical related content — from documents and forms to notes and emails — that these systems can’t effectively manage, leaving employees without easy access to all the information required to make decisions, manage processes, and provide excellent customer service.

So, what’s an organization to do?

Utilizing a single platform

Look for a content services solution that is built on a single content repository that can complete the picture. Look for a platform that can connect with other core systems and line-of-business applications to create a seamless experience for users that eliminates the inefficiencies and missed opportunities that are the inevitable result of multiple content repositories.

The right solution complements your core business systems, providing employees with a complete view of the information they need, when and where they need it. By centralizing all types of critical content and connecting it to the data in your core line-of-business systems, you provide users with instant access to all relevant information directly from their familiar system interface.

Beyond linking content to your core systems, an ideal solution will also manage the related processes and data — all on a single enterprise information platform. A single content repository. One. When you have a comprehensive strategy for managing enterprise information, multiple content repositories, wherever they may lurk, are no match.

Regardless of whether you made the trek to AIIM, we’d love to hear how you’re battling the multiple content repository conundrum. Let us know in the comments below!

Tori Ballantine

Tori Ballantine

Tori Ballantine is responsible for the product marketing of the Hyland Cloud. With more than a decade in marketing and communications—and several of those years in the cloud—Tori is passionate about finding and telling stories. She’s worked and/or written for NASA, Oracle Service Cloud, the Trust for Public Land, United Autoworkers Magazine, Behr, Kimpton Hotels, TOA Technologies, Cleveland Magazine—and many more. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Loyola University Maryland and an M.A. in Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

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