I didn’t expect Peggy Winton to start my day with a request like that, but it was the AIIM Boot Camp, so it fit the theme. Listening to Peggy and some of the vendors on the floor and speakers in the break-out sessions, I got the feeling that
Document Content Information management might be gaining some traction in business, and I think I know why – people. People want better ways to deal with the piles (physical and virtual) of content they face at work, and they want ways to filter and focus the near constant stream of information coming from all angles, throughout the day. At least that’s what I heard when I talked to the people around me. I feel like maybe Peggy was right, maybe we are gearing up to do battle. The question seemed to be “who are we doing battle with?” The likely candidates seem to be ourselves, the industry and the IT Guy.
Ourselves – we are a collection of bad habits, an unwillingness to learn and a desire to actually get our jobs done. The problems that I heard people talking about echo the question I get most often from my coworkers – “where do I start?” As I think about it, that is way better than the question we were getting 5 years ago which was “why do I need this?” We know that paper-based content management is unsustainable. We know that folders on network drives are only marginally better. We know that the technology is out there, but we don’t always know what to use, how to use it and who is going to pay for it. I think that’s ok. I think that means we are ready to come together in this battle.
Industry – One of the trends in the conversations that I had yesterday tells me that we may be getting closer to having real solutions from the industry serving this market. As opposed to everybody throwing something at the market in order to say “oh, we have one of those” I think we are starting to see companies say “this is what we are good at, and here’s how we can work with you and the other solutions you’ve chosen.” My favorite example is Harmon.ie I’m going to give them the spotlight for two reasons: 1) they sponsored the AIIM New England Chapter event that took place after the Boot Camp, and 2) They just released a new and improved version of their software product for integrating email in SharePoint. Harmon.ie is a perfect example of the kind of solutions we need, and the kind the industry is starting to supply. With Harmon.ie, I can tie managed content to and from SharePoint from Outlook, or from my iPad. In the new version, I can make changes to the configuration on either device, and see those changes on all devices. I can work wherever I want, on whatever device I happen to have with me – that’s been our goal for a long time.
The IT Guy – People love to beat up on this poor slob, but at the same time they defend him without realizing what they are doing. They complain about having to “storm the palace of NO” to get solutions funded, the lack of mobile support for legacy applications, and the inability for business to keep up with the consumer technology they know and love. On the other hand, they are concerned about security, they don’t have a budget of their own to spend and they are starting to see that a hodgepodge of consumer solutions is creating an even bigger problem – “is that in my SkyDrive, in DropBox or is that in Evernote in an unsynced notebook?” I might be a bit biased, but in the battle against content, I think the IT Guy is the cavalry that’s coming over the hill. It’s hard to know where to spread limited resources (people and money) when people and the industry are fractured, but as people start to focus their requirements and the industry starts to align themselves around well designed solutions, the IT Guy can make it work – they’ve been doing that for over 50 years.
By the time the Boot Camp and the Chapter event were over, I felt like we might be doing battle, but it’s definitely a battle we can win. We have god people, strong allies and a plan for success.#iPad #informationmanagement #IT #ECM #Harmon.ie #BootCamp #SharePointNewEngland