Last post, I began looking at my picks for noteworthy enterprise CMS 2012 trends:

  1. The rise of Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)
  2. The evolving relationship between compliance and social media
  3. ECM goes viral
  4. Realistic retention
  5. Mainstream Enterprise 2.0
  6. Mid-tier ECM steps up to the plate
  7. SharePoint decision time

I’ve covered #1 - #3 already (so start there if you missed it). Let’s turn now to the rest of them…

#4. Realistic Retention

This is a big one, because it’s the culmination of over a decade of electronic records management efforts that have pretty much failed at large organizations. And this failure is not due to incompetence or negligence on the part of corporate records management functions, but rather that records management (RM) as typically practiced (and as it grew out of paper records management) is untenable, for two reasons:

  • Retention schedules are too complex for business users to follow or for technology to support
  • It’s designed for paper inboxes managed by RM specialists -- doesn’t work for electronically stored information (ESI) managed by end-users

The result is that most ESI is retained forever, on multiple systems, and in multiple media despite all our best records management efforts.

In response, forward-thinking organizations are trying more practical approaches to RM, not to circumvent laws and regulations, but to find actionable ways to comply with laws using currently available technology. The two most promising of these are big bucket classification (i.e., 3 categories not 300) and doing away with event-based retention by finding non-event-based retention triggers to drive retention and disposition.

Jury’s still out on how successful these practical RM approaches will be, but we’ll definitely see increasing numbers of organizations moving to them in the coming year.

#5. Mainstream Enterprise 2.0

Enterprise 2.0 has been a hot topic for some time now, but for most organizations it’s been more theory than practice for a few reasons:

  • Technology not mature enough
  • Staying power of E2.0 uncertain
  • Few precedents for real-world success beyond branding and marketing domains

However, in the last year or so, E2.0 technology has matured to the point where it’s better able to integrate E2.0 processes with core E1.0 business processes (e.g., customer service, product development, HR). Furthermore, everyday it seems like there are new examples of E2.0 successes across a range of verticals, not just Starbucks or Dell.

The upshot is that E2.0 is now a requirement for organizations in most verticals to remain competitive…and in those where it isn’t, it will be shortly. So 2012 will be a year of intensive E2.0 activity for more organizations than we’ve previously seen, across many more verticals.

#6. Mid-Tier ECM Steps Up to the Plate

Once upon a time, the enterprise CMS market for large organizations was heavily diversified, populated by many players each with different approaches to enterprise CMS solutions, as Figure 1 shows.
Shepley_2012Trends2_Figure 1.jpg
Figure 1 -- Gartner ECM Magic Quadrant 2004

Since 2009, however, we’ve seen the enterprise CMS market for big organizations largely dominated by a few key players (IBM, EMC, OpenText, Oracle), as shown in Figure 2. But in the last year, mid-tier vendors (most notably Hyland) have stepped up to try to compete with the big four and are making inroads to large organizations beyond the departmental installs they’ve typically been limited to.
Shepley_2012Trends2_Figure 2.jpg
Figure 2 – Gartner ECM Magic Quadrant 2009

2012 should be a big year for some of these mid-tier vendors, and I expect to see them competing for business (and winning) against the big four at larger and larger clients.

#7. SharePoint Decision Time

Okay, so this isn’t so much a trend as it is an observation about where a lot of organizations will find themselves in 2012. Having waited to jump on the SharePoint 2010 bandwagon, these firms now find themselves in a tricky spot:

  1. They can decide to implement SharePoint 2010, spend the next 18 months getting the enterprise up and running…just in time for the next version of SharePoint to be released.
  2. They can stick it out and keep using what they have today (MOSS, WSS or maybe no SharePoint at all)…but find themselves with 18-24 more months of electronically stored information (ESI) to deal with in the meantime.

If you ask me, I would encourage you to go with option 1 for a number of reasons:

  • SharePoint 2010 is pretty much a known quantity at this point -- SharePoint 2013 (or whatever it’ll be called) is a complete unknown (or nearly so). You could wait around, only to find out that SharePoint 2010 would have given you the bulk of what you needed sooner, cheaper and with less risk.
  • Near-term risk -- speaking of risk, don’t underestimate the huge risk that 18-24 more months of poorly managed ESI poses to your organization, both operational and legal…not to mention the risk to your eventual SharePoint 2013 project from having to deal with 40%, 50%, 60% (or more) legacy content.
  • Old dogs and new tricks -- face it, you’re not an early adopter…if you were, you’d already be on SharePoint 2010. So what makes you think that your organization will be any more likely to be in the first wave of SharePoint 2013 adopters than you were for 2010? Chances are, you’d decide to wait for 2013 and then end up sitting on the fence until 2015 and be in the same spot you are in now. Trust me.

The Final Word

So there you have it, my thoughts on what some of the key enterprise CMS trends are going to be for 2012. As always, I’d love to hear from you all out there: tell me I’m crazy, share your own trends, or share your own experiences with any or all of these -- jump in, and let’s get the conversation started.

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