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This morning at info360 was full of lots of rhetoric about content management, customer relations and the impact that social, emerging and innovative technologies are having on the future of enterprise IT.

Shifting from 'We Should' to 'Here's How'

In 2010, conferences about ECM and related topics focused on why we needed to pay attention to emerging technologies and the perils of not embracing it. In 2011, conferences are actually attempting to show how to do it. It’s a welcome perspective, because at this point, if you don’t know what can be gained by integrating social, mobile and local technologies, a few more conferences won’t convince you.

Info360 hopes to set a precedent by providing three days of sessions, super sessions and main stage keynotes that don’t just illustrate the need, but outline the path to adoption, adaption and advancement.

Changing Policy, Expectations, Outcomes

Case in point -- it’s not every day Western Union headlines a conference keynote. But there they were, represented by John Dick, CIO, talking about how Western Union transformed its operations from simple telegram and wire transfers to mobile commerce and banking technologies. His call to action was clear and similar to what we cover each week about the mobile enterprise: Bring more transparency into the marketplace by helping to provide more information, innovation and access to your solutions. To make global mobile banking more global and mobile, we need to bring more cash into the digital ecosystem, while providing better interoperability so consumers have more options for where to spend, send and otherwise keep their money.

We expect to hear John Mancini, president of AIIM, sing the praises of enterprise ECM innovations, but I admit, he really didn’t mince words when he suggested we stop letting paper-based policies govern our enterprise technology strategies. As he says, you wouldn’t ask a blacksmith fix your car, so why are we letting paper records dictate how we structure, record and otherwise connect our digital information? Mancini also focused on three little syllables, reminiscent of The Sound of Music: Forget Do Re Mi. It’s all about So Lo Mo. Social, Local, Mobile. It’s the three words that every CIO must learn to help drive business expectations.

Andy MacMillan, VP of Oracle, drove the message home by offering real-life case studies of how using evolved and advanced enterprise content strategies helped organizations serving the greater good, such as the Organization of American States, dedicated to human rights, benefit from making changes at both the human and technological level.

The most anticipated keynote speaker of the morning didn’t disappoint. Aaron Levie of Box.net gave us the extra push we needed to make us want to go out an implement, integrate and innovate social technologies. Levie wants to make enterprise software sexy by making it easy, simple and powerful. Ultimately, the technology we want to use should be technology that we’d use even if we didn’t have to. Yet, to get there, we need to readjust our values and efforts. Instead of investing in maintaining and updating our outdated legacy systems, let’s invest in new technologies to solve problems, connect communities and make working productive and, well, sexy.

Info360 promises a lot of information. As we make our way through the conference over the next few days, I look forward to seeing the enterprise demonstrate its utility.