Information management in the enterprise has clearly been a matter of considerable concern over the past year. Even leaving aside SharePoint 2010 (which we will look at in another post), interest in it has been intense. Here is a list of subjects that appear to have hit the spot. There are dozens more that could be included, but these are the ones that caught our attention.

1. BI to Go Mobile and Social, Gartner Says

At the beginning of the year, Gartner predicted significant changes in the Business Intelligence market suggesting that, by 2014, most enterprises will possess BI that is IT-owned and report-focused. The result -- a change in how enterprises access BI and where they buy it from.

By 2014, four major trends will emerge and mature, transforming the market and forcing companies to adapt or lose out. Not the least of these trends is the development of the BI market for mobile devices, which will see 33% of all BI functionality used exclusively on handhelds.

2. OpenText, BPM

OpenText was also busy this year in the information management space. Early in the year it extended the functionality of its enterprise CMS.

This time, it came with the addition of business process management and business process analysis in a US$ 182 million acquisition of Baltimore-based Metastorm. The deal, closed by the end of March, put another spring in the step of OpenText shareholders., who were already beaming after OpenText announced earlier in January Q4 results up 7.9%.

3. IBM, Microsoft, Oracle in Gartner’s BI MQ

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence identified a number of themes that became a lot clearer as the year progressed. In the near future, Gartner said, ease-of-use, complexity of analysis, scale and performance and total cost of ownership will continue to dominate BI market requirements.

Considerations about deployments will revolve around ease of use, while the ability to bridge widely proliferating departmental silos with enterprise deployments will be a critical IT and BI vendor challenge.

4. The Importance of Analytics

Julie Hunt looked at analytics… and in depth. The kind of intelligence, she argued, that benefits enterprises derives from classic definitions of the word: learning, understanding, applying knowledge and experience to new situations to make better decisions. For business intelligence and market/competitive intelligence, the frequent catchphrase is “making better business decisions." Both involve data, analysis and recommendations.

5. Is Collaboration the End of Process?

Deb Levoy posed the question as to whether collaboration is or isn’t the end of process. A process, she said, (in the more ideal than evil world) is an embodiment of learning. It's a way to follow some best practices so that you don't have to expend effort or brain cells figuring out how to do it.

6. Enterprise CMS vs. Business Process Management

For Ghosh Palash, enterprise CMS and business process management (BPM), while separate technologies, often overlap. As a result, some organizations struggle with understanding whether they need an enterprise CMS solution, a BPM solution or both. This article took a look at the options.

While some of the leading pure play BPM vendors are claiming that 'they have an enterprise CMS container built-in and take care of content management needs, almost all leading enterprise CMS vendors also offer a BPM engine and it can take care of an organization's content centric business process/workflow needs.

7. Broken Business Processes?

In June, we looked at 5 business processes that enterprises needed to fix. At the end of the year, those things still look like they need fixing.

The findings of Iron Mountain’s Managing Information: Trends in Business Process Efficiency would seem to suggest that, while many companies are aware of inefficiencies in business process management, quite a number are not doing a lot about it.

8. IBM, Business Intelligence

One of the big topics in information management over the year was what IBM was going to do with all its acquisitions. New releases based on those acquisitions have been slow to emerge even if the technology has been integrated quickly. In October 2010 we had Cognos 10; in June it announced a new application based on the Netezza buy.

With the new release, called High Capacity Appliance that all changed, with a product specifically targeting Big Data sets and the analysis of the information contained in them. IBM also issued new releases a bit later in the year based on the Coremetrics and Unica acquisitions.

9. What is 'Information Management'?

Martin White, Managing Director of Intranet Focus, had a closer look at what we mean when we talk about information management. Given the popularity of the post, it seems a lot of people are still unclear about it.

Every day, he said, we face the problems of how to find the information we need to meet personal, family and career objectives. At the end of the year, though, it is apparent that people are still struggling with the concept.

10. Microsoft's Vision for Business Intelligence

From the SharePoint conference this year, Mike Ferrera sat in on a session that outlined Microsoft’s vision of business intelligence for the future.

This has been a hot topic for many readers who are interested in moving to SharePoint or are already invested in the platform. The presentation was delivered by Microsoft’s Steve Tullis, Group Program Manager for the Office BI team, and Kamal Hathi, General Manager of the BI Group in Microsoft SQL Server.

11. Gartner Enterprise CMS Magic Quadrant

In October, Gartner’s 2011 Magic Quadrant for the Enterprise Content Management industry confirms what many suspect: The content management landscape is changing quickly, and changing dramatically.

While the vendors that made it into the Leaders Quadrant remain the same as last year -- in alphabetical order EMC, Hyland, IBM, Microsoft, OpenText and Oracle -- the dynamics that are driving the market are not the same.

12. The Newest Trend in e-Discovery

Also in October, Linda Sharp noted that recent trends in e-Discovery point toward a promising development: Companies are recognizing the pitfalls of existing models for handling e-Discovery, and they are working smarter. As the cost of e-Discovery continues to skyrocket, a definite movement is growing among large enterprises that want to make e-Discovery more efficient, defensible and cost-effective.

13. The Problem with Records Management

One of the big hits over the course of the year was a post from Cheryl McKinnon who argued that there is a sense of frustration in the records management profession.

She says the problem is that records management in the 21st century is all about business and technology. Over the last generation, a disconnect has developed between the skills developed and the skills needed to be a successful, strategic manager of corporate records.

14. IBM Tech Trends 2011

This year’s IBM Tech Trends report showed a couple of interesting figures, not least of which is the fact that Android -- and not iOS -- looks like it will be the preferred platform for developers over the next two years.

The report focuses on four areas that IBM says are, and will be, connected within the developer community until at least 2014. They are:

  • Business analytics
  • Mobile computing
  • Cloud computing
  • Social business

According to IBM, the trends are based on responses to a survey of more than 4,000 IT professionals in 25 industries across 93 countries. These were reflected in other results including Gartner’s Top Ten Trends for CIOs.

15. Top Ten Trends for CIOs, Infrastructure, the Enterprise

The technologies that are being developed at the moment are the ones that will be setting IT trends in the near future.

Not all of these trends are related to IT, but the ones that are not will have considerable impact on IT, so they have been included in the list.

This leaves us just about where we started. The question then is; is information management making any progress? Let us know what you think.