Enterprise content now encompassing wikis, blogs, podcasts and more

* Content management must step up to new challenges

In the course of my research into Enterprise Content Management (which you can help by filling out my survey and possibly win some fabulous prizes too), I am seeing some interesting new developments. Just like the so-called “Web 2.0” before it, new content technologies and attitudes are creating more collaborative enterprises, which are establishing multi-directional conversations with customers and employees, working with information dynamically, collaboratively, and interactively.

In systems management, for example, BMC Software and Novell have blogs where their architects, solution designers, product managers and even their CTOs can communicate directly with customers. Even traditional enterprises like General Motors and Boeing have corporate blogs.

Enterprises are using podcasts to allow their customers and employees to listen to their choice of corporate content, at a time and place of their choosing – such as a recent EMA podcast on the impact of change in the data center. Similar concepts are being applied to video content, such as EMA’s recorded Webinars.

Employees and customers are sharing content actively using wikis, rather than passively with static documents. They are bypassing traditional Web sites for customizable, personalized portals. They are choosing to receive syndicated updates via RSS and Atom readers, rather than by post or even by e-mail. They are sharing contact details and finding each other via community or social networking sites like LinkedIn. They are talking with each other via instant messaging, or via Internet phones like Skype. They are sharing common interests through metatags. And they are sharing data not only through corporate FTP, but also through collaborative sites like Flickr.

This poses new challenges for ECM. Enterprises must figure out ways, for example, to:

* Index, archive, and manage audio and video content.

* Capture and leverage corporate blog content, and the customer comments it generates.

* Archive instant messages like the records they are.

* Maintain audit trails and archives for corporate wikis.

* Capture corporate content not just internally, but beyond the business.

Traditionally, ECM has done a poor job of integrating even static, predictable content within the firewall. Now, enterprises need to manage content that is dynamic and collaborative, and which transcends corporate boundaries. Enterprises face major risks and costs, as well as opportunities, but very few ECM vendors have stepped up to these new challenges.

I would love to hear from you about your experiences with these new technologies – how they are affecting the way you live and work, and how you are dealing with them, both personally and professionally. Please take the time to respond to our ECM survey – it should take no longer than 15 minutes of your time. In return we are offering all respondents the opportunity to win a free 3-month subscription to EMA’s Research and Analysis Services (a $1,500 value).

Whether you take the survey or not, please feel free to e-mail me – I would love to lean more about your experiences with these technologies and concepts.

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