Ignore Online Content Technologies at Your Peril

EMA’s research shows this gap continues to grow, and that use of OCT will expand dramatically, whether or not it is officially sanctioned. Yet traditional ECM tools and content management strategies mostly continue to ignore these new technologies.

This inability to control or manage the information generated and delivered by OCT exposes enterprises to significant risks, including privacy, intellectual property, audit, and compliance exposures.

From EMA’s research, it is clear there is a dramatic shift in the way people are creating, using, and delivering content, and it is becoming clear OCT is becoming a major part of the enterprise content landscape. From webpages and e-mails to instant messaging and Wikis, this evolution is happening faster than anyone would have predicted; not just in the consumer world, but within businesses as well.

EMA has documented several fascinating case studies on new techniques for corporate communications, customer relationship management, management reporting, e-business productivity, and more. The untapped potential for additional productivity, cost reduction, and competitive advantage using OCT is extraordinary, and EMA firmly believes that enterprises must take advantage of these technologies.

On the other hand, businesses not taking advantage of these technologies face major problems. Sticking with traditional content management disciplines will, by omission, ignore the growth of OCT. This will lead to major issues in protecting privacy and intellectual property, and will increasingly bypass existing management processes. Having no ability to capture, manage, and control this content will cause high-risk audit and compliance issues.

Unfortunately, very few businesses are aware of this change, what it means to them, or how to prepare for the evolution of OCT.

Enterprises need to take stock of their content management strategies, and figure out how these strategies can be developed to accommodate OCT. They need to adjust their expectations, and in many cases their processes, so that they can benefit from these technologies, and not simply be crushed by their inescapable momentum.

They also need to take a very close look at their ECM tools, and figure out if they will be suitable for managing the evolution of OCT. Chances are they will not be suitable, in part or in whole, so enterprises need to start planning for a completely new set of OCT management requirements.

Andi Mann is a senior analyst with the analyst and consulting firm Enterprise Management Associates.