Alfresco’s view on next-gen ECM: key takeaways

    A discussion of the 4 trends reshaping enterprise content management requirements as defined by John Newton (Alfresco).

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    Alfresco is an established document management and collaboration platform based on open source technology. It is an open platform with the stability, support and feature set of a truly enterprise-class platform. Alfresco is modern and evolves rapidly without compromising on quality.

    Anyone who’s active in the ECM market will recognize John Newton, the CTO and founder of Alfresco, as a thought leader in the field. At the end of 2014, he gave a presentation about document management at AMPLEXOR's 'The Future of Document Management' seminar, sharing his views about productivity and connection within the enterprise.


    On 8 July, John shared his vision on the next generation of ECM systems during the webinar ‘Next-Gen ECM: Why the time is right for a new approach to enterprise content management’, including discussion on the topics of trends reshaping ECM requirements, risks of relying on legacy ECM systems, the modern approach to ECM and, finally, how to meet and overcome today’s ECM challenges.

    I would like to discuss the four trends John identified. Later on, in another post, I will evaluate the claims Alfresco makes as to meeting and overcoming today's challenges in enterprise content management.

    4 trends reshaping ECM requirements

    John Newton identified 4 trends that are reshaping ECM requirements:

    1. First, new ways of working are entering the world of knowledge workers.

      There’s the abundance of easy-to-use web tools such as Dropbox, OneDrive which have raised the expectation that applications are easy-to-use, powerful and available on every device.

      The influx of digital natives into the job market has only increased pressure on traditional IT departments: young employees no longer settle for complex legacy applications with clunky interfaces; they desire seamless mobile access to intuitive applications.

    2. A second trend is the emergence of the extended enterprise.

      Modern enterprises are no longer confined by their (fire)walls but actively collaborate with suppliers, customers and other external partners. From an IT perspective, however, the firewall is often still the strict digital frontier and many legacy applications also reflect this in their architecture.

      But at a time when collaboration is essential for business success, it is no longer an option to keep users and content locked behind the firewall.


    3. Third, we cannot ignore the explosion in digital content.

      IDC expects digital content to grow 50 times from 2010 to 2020. This explosion is not only due to the increasing amount of ‘traditional' office documents, but also to the remarkable increase in images, videos and other multimedia formats which are being managed.

      Content is also enriched with contextual metadata such as geo-tagging for images, social and usage data. These metadata are obviously essential to filter the relevant info out of the huge content haystack.

    4. Finally there’s the endless stream of technological innovation which impacts IT infrastructure.

      Both cloud and mobile are core strategic considerations for each modern IT department. That’s why modern applications require an architecture flexible enough to allow for different deployment scenarios (on-premise, cloud, hybrid).

    It is a fact that many organizations still fail to cope with these trends and the result is employees who are often frustrated and non-productive because content is locked away and unavailable beyond the firewall. Others become ‘creative’ and start using uncontrolled shadow IT solutions such as personal Dropbox accounts for sharing content with partners.

    Meanwhile IT departments cannot swiftly respond to business requirements or optimize costs because legacy applications lack flexible deployment options.

    In the next post, I will evaluate the claims that Alfresco is making based on the trends they have identified.

    Want to hear John Newton guide you through his vision? Get access to the on-demand recording here.

    Download the case study: Moving from paper to digital insurance underwriting with Alfresco at Credendo Group

    Published on    Last updated on 01/07/2019

    #Alfresco, #Content Management

    About the author

    Tom Laureys is Solution Manager ECM at Amplexor based in Belgium. For the past 10 years, Tom has been helping clients across industries find the right technology to effectively digitize their business processes and improve collaboration and productivity. His combination of strategic thinking and expertise in a range of platforms - from Alfresco and Documentum to SharePoint and Office 365 – grant him the capacity to capture new trends on the market and turn them into solutions for our customers.


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