people walking in front of a blue wall
PHOTO: Markus Spiske

In simple terms, information management concerns a cycle of organizational activity: the acquisition of information from one or more sources, the custodianship and the distribution of that information to those who need it, and its ultimate disposition through archiving or deletion. However, for something that seems so straightforward, it still creates huge problems for enterprises.

In fact, every year we take a look at information management trends that are starting to emerge, or which have already established themselves, we also note the same problems and challenges remain for enterprises, even as more technology and more data is brought into the workplace.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which is rapidly growing with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years. While information management has been around for a long time, it is still disrupting the workplace with new facets of the same problems every year. The big issue this year and heading into 2020 is the role of people in the enterprise and their relationship with technology.

Last October, at the Gartner IT Symposium|Xpo, David Cearley, vice president and Gartner fellow, argued that putting people at the center of technology strategies highlights one of the most important aspects of technology — how it impacts customers, employees, business partners, society or other key constituencies. He also argued that all actions of the organization can be attributed to how it impacts these individuals and groups either directly or indirectly. Indeed, over the past year, this too has been the case as new technologies like robotic process automation, artificial intelligence (AI), low-code architectures and other technologies become common.

Our list of top stories in this space over the past 12 months reflect these arguments.

1. A Tale of Two SAPs

In March, SAP announced that it was “restructuring” and that 4,400 jobs would be lost as a result. But, it should be noted that SAP is simply doing what all big technology companies periodically do: they take a good hard look at their business, refocus, reorganize and streamline operations, according to Josh Greenbaum, principal analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting. “SAP has realized that it needs to shift their strategy and their priorities,” Greenbaum said, noting that one area of impact is SAP HANA and its team.

2. What the Oracle-Microsoft Cloud Partnership Really Means

At the beginning of July, Microsoft and Oracle announced that they were creating a cloud interoperability partnership enabling customers to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. The companies said this means enterprises will be able to seamlessly connect Azure services, like Analytics and AI, to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database. By enabling customers to run one part of a workload within Azure and another part of the same workload within the Oracle Cloud, the partnership offers enterprises a highly optimized, best-of-both-clouds experience. Taken together, the partnership provides a one-stop shop of cloud services and applications for businesses.

3. Why RPA Implementation Projects Fail

For the most part Ernst & Young is very enthusiastic about robotic process automation (RPA), according to a report about the technology in which E&Y wrote: “It promises to transform the cost, efficiency and quality of executing many of the back-office and customer-facing processes that businesses rely on people to perform.”  However, in that same report E&Y also made clear that the implementation of what for all appearances is a simple application — many are low or no-code — can be fraught with issues for some companies.

4. 7 Key Principles for a Successful DevOps Culture

As we move into 2019, the demand for rapid and constantly improving digital experiences has never been higher. To match the market’s demands, brands are adopting a DevOps culture to streamline the development, deployment, management and maintenance of software at scale. Here’s everything you need to know about DevOps, and the DevOps principles necessary to be successful.

5. 10 Keys to Microsoft Teams Governance Success

A multifunction communication platform like Microsoft Teams is an essential tool for today’s work environment — not just a fancy piece of tech. Nearly three-quarters (70%) of professionals globally telecommute at least one day a week, while 43% of US employees do so on occasion. These workers, and their teams, require seamless 24/7 access to the same information to remain successful. But managing an organization-spanning Microsoft Teams environment is no easy task. Major governance measures must be in place to contain sprawl, secure internal data and ensure efficiency.

6. Understanding the Differences Between Data Lakes and Data Warehouses

Big data is here, and it’s getting bigger by the day. With more than 80 million Internet of Things (IoT) devices set to enter the market by 2020, brands are busy making plans to offer new customer experiences and preparing for an unprecedented onslaught of data. Data lakes and data warehouses are two ways that a brand can collect and manage all that data, but what’s the difference between the two? We talked to practitioners to see how they differentiate the two.

7. Open Source vs. Open Core: What's the Difference?

Back in 2013, CMSWire asked the experts a simple question: "Which is better, proprietary software or open source?" While there was no consensus at the time, the question itself seems archaic today. "Open source is everywhere," said Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research. A quick look at the proprietary software vendors of yesteryear drives his point home.

8. What We Can Learn From the GDPR's First Fines

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — the compliance regulation that caused consternation in organizations worldwide, before and after it went live on May 25, 2018 — is starting to live up to its reputation of being a fearless defender of customer data and privacy rights. As with all laws, its implications are best understood by interpreting its penalties thus far.

9. What's Next for Red Hat Users Following Close of IBM Acquisition?

IBM closed last month on one of the cloud industry’s largest acquisitions to date: its $34 billion grab of open-source cloud technology provider Red Hat.  The deal raises some questions: Will Red Hat help IBM catch up to cloud leaders Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services? How will Red Hat users be impacted by the deal? Those impacted by the acquisition agree it's still too early to tell, but they're bracing for potential integration challenges and progress in the hybrid cloud arena.

10. Why the DevOps Engineer Is a Misunderstood Role

The demands for DevOps engineers is growing, and it’s not difficult to figure out why. Companies that utilize DevOps practices are deploying code up to 30 times faster than their competitors — and they experience 50% fewer deployment fails. With all the advantages of DevOps tempting more companies into transforming their software development processes, it’s no wonder the average DevOps engineer can demand a salary in excess of $100,000.