Ignore Online Content Technologies at Your Peril

Like IM before it, the rise of content creation and delivery mechanisms that are solely dependent on network connectivity—what EMA is calling Online Content Technology, or OCT—is being overlooked by mainstream ECM strategies and solutions.

Of course, there are excellent solutions for Web publishing and e-mail, but OCT is vastly more than that, as it includes unmanaged (or at best under-managed) content mechanisms such as:

  • Chat and instant messaging (IM) applications (e.g. AIM, Windows Messenger) and web logs (blogs).
  • Downloadable audio and video recordings (podcasts) and streaming media.
  • Collaborative Web-based community-created content (e.g., Wikis).
  • Real-time content notification and delivery technologies like RSS (Really Simple Syndication), Atom, or BitTorrent.
  • Internet-connected smart-phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), WebTV, and other appliances.
  • Internet delivery of voice, audio, and video, including Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) and similar technologies.
  • Dynamic or interactive Web-based content delivery using asynchronous Java and XML (AJAX) or Adobe Macromedia Flash.
  • Online content creation and storage applications like Google Docs, G-Drive, and Microsoft Live applications.
  • Online communications and conferencing services like Skype, WebEx, GMail, GTalk, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, or Citrix GoToMeeting.
  • While there is some overlap, OCT should not be confused with Web 2.0’ an over-used, imprecise and, therefore, poorly understood marketing term coined by a media and publishing company), “Enterprise 2.0” (an even less well defined but equally unattainable and spurious concept), or even “social software” (collaborative services that facilitate bi-directional communication and interaction between groups and individuals).

    Unlike anything “2.0”, OCT is real and definitive. Unlike social software, OCT is not only about bi-directional communication and interaction, but about any network-based content creation and delivery mechanism; not just about bottom-up content processes driven by individuals and communities, but also about top-down processes driven by an enterprise.

    Regardless of semantics, EMA’s research makes it clear deployment of OCT in the enterprise is increasing rapidly. As employees become more attached and exposed to these technologies in their roles as consumers and users they are increasingly bringing their experiences into their workplace, and using OCT for business purposes.

    Certainly, e-mail and Web publishing have led the online content revolution, and EMA sees them rated among the top five for most important ECM discipline, most important content type, and most important content delivery method.

    In particular, delivery of content via e-mail already surpasses print and deliver by a factor of almost two-to-one. However, EMA’s research has found that the next wave of OCT will be instant messaging, blogs, Wikis, and syndication.

    Well over half of all enterprises are using these technologies today. This is set to double or even triple over the next 12 months, with enterprise usage growing for:

  • IM or chat applications – by around 10% (from 35% to 46%);
  • Wikis – by almost double (from 11% to 21%);
  • RSS/Atom – by more than double (from 9% to 20%); and
  • Blogging – by almost triple (from 8% to 21%).
  • Alarmingly, while it is actually deployed in almost two thirds of enterprises, OCT is officially deployed in only one third of enterprises. Indeed, around 40% of enterprise OCT deployments are unofficial (and presumably unapproved), and less than 20% of enterprises are properly managing this content.