Predictions for ECM in 2014

By Christian Buckley posted 12-19-2013 18:14


One of the best parts of participating in the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) sessions is the opportunity to discuss big ideas and, let's be honest -- to also dig into rumor and speculation about what we'll see in the near (and distant) future from the major platform and OEM players that make up the backbone of the ECM space. While my day job revolves primarily around the SharePoint stack, my personal and professional interests often abstract above that to topics that are of equal value to competing platforms. As such, I thought it would be interesting to share some of my predictions for 2014 that sit across all of the platforms used by the AIIM membership.


My predictions center around four areas:

  • Mobile will supplant Social as the most talked about topic in 2014. Don't get me wrong -- I'm bullish on where social is going and think that we'll see tighter integration of several leading enterprise social platforms into the structured collaboration platforms we use, but the bigger bet in my mind is mobility. Specifically, in extending our enterprise applications into mobile formats -- from responsive web design that can format our tools based on the device we're using, to native user experiences for specific tasks whether accessed via laptop, smartphone, tablet, or embedded device.
  • Hybrid will gain momentum, and customers will look for opportunities to diversify their infrastructure. With all the talk about moving toward the cloud, the reality for most organizations is that not everything can be moved -- and even those systems and users and workloads that make sense in the cloud, the path toward the cloud may take some time. Along the way, hybrid solutions will pick up steam and organizations will begin to assess which infrastructure components can be offloaded to private and public cloud platforms. Of course, the compliance and security issues of hybrid systems will ensure the word "governance" remains prominently within our lexicon.
  • Companies will focus less on branding, but more on UX. I really do believe that 2014 is the year when organizations will realize that all of their branding concerns were largely a waste of time, and that improving end user engagement has less to do with colors and logos, and more to do with understand how people are using these systems, and designing the user experience to align more closely to business processes.
  • IT will shift resources from infrastructure toward business intelligence (BI). A couple years back, people started predicting that IT jobs were going away because of increased productivity through mobile and the cloud, and the replacement of on premises infrastructure with cloud assets. It hasn't happened yet, for the most part -- and while there is some truth to that (you won't need someone focused on hardware if you no longer manage any hardware), my argument is that these roles shift, not just disappear. Some will go to business analyst roles, others will go to the cloud and mobile vendors themselves. But I think the other shift will be to move these technically-minded folks in roles that will do more and more with business intelligence apps and stacks, building and maintaining dashboards and scorecards, and working with the cloud and mobile vendors on one side -- the business users on the other -- to make BI a competitive advantage.


What are your predictions?  I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on what is coming in 2014, so please comment.

#SharePoint #ContentManagement #predictions #ECM #Collaboration #infrastructure #cloud #2014
1 comment


12-19-2013 20:22

Agree with your assessments. Cloud movement will be sector-specific. Heavy compliance verticals will still need virtual private clouds or hybribds to satisfy governance and compliance requirements for risk averse execs.
My own prediction is that enterprise social networks will find more favor. Business information and even line of business applications will start to reorganize around a knowledge organization architecture approach, with SharePoint and ECM coming in at the next layer behind collaborative engagement platforms (there's a reason Facebook didn't have a "user adoption" problem).
Yammer integration with SharePoint... the keys to the kingdom will be metadata and taxonomy. Nintex will be a runaway leader with social actions in Nintex 365, even being able to push to Wordpress as external publishing platforms. We're already playing with custom hashtags in a Yammer post triggering child workflows within SP 2013 in O365.
Taxonomy will continue to emerge as the mortar between all information system bricks.
The social discussion will get more unified as companies realize "social" isn't just something for the marketing department Twitter account intern to do. The line between internal and external social will get thinner and the marketing departments will be positioned to drive ESN's internally for several reasons #1 being internal crowdsourcing SME's for marketing content to support external campaigns. Hopefully this means another recognition on senior management's part that social media as a marketing play also represents a massive marketing intelligence opportunity - which isn't something left in the hands of a low pay intern.
The rise of the Chief Knowledge Officer and/or Enterprise Content Architect as a principal decision-maker in progressive organizations.
I think 2014 will be a fun year in our space.