Information management, like most other workplace technologies, underwent profound changes over the course of the last two years. These changes were all designed to keep up with the massive explosion in remote and hybrid work models.

For years, the big challenge of information management and IT has been ensuring that the right data gets to the right people at the right time. As the amount of data in the workplace exploded more sophisticated data models and technologies were adopted to manage this.

Ensuring the security of data in remote and hybrid models also posed major problems as the year brought in yet more major security breaches. In response to this, and to the other challenges facing information management professionals, many organizations started to embrace artificial intelligence and machine learning. While the trend started before the pandemic, with so many workers using so much data offsite, it become not just desirable, but necessary for organizations to go this route.

It also became clear to all that cloud computing or cloud platforms addressed many of the problems enterprises are facing right now and that with the rapid evolution of the workplace, investing in the cloud appears to be the only way to keep up with the rapid pace of workplace change. CMSWire’s Top 10 articles in information management over the year reflect the conflict between old, as yet unresolved challenges and new, technologically driven solutions. One thing is certain: we still haven't completely worked out how to manage information. Here they are:

10. Knowledge Management vs. Organizational Intelligence: What's in a Name?

I haven't yet provided a snappy definition of KM to compare and contrast with organizational intelligence, largely because there are soooo many to choose from. I do like this 2002 definition by Dr. Clair McInerny: “KM is an effort to increase useful knowledge within an organization. Ways to do this include encouraging communication, offering opportunities to learn, and promoting the sharing of knowledge objects or artifacts.”

Increasing useful knowledge is an idea we can all get behind, right?

9. The Rise and Fall of Microsoft Search

When Microsoft SharePoint launched in 2001, it was a time of substantial innovation in the enterprise search sector. IBM STAIRS, DEC BASIS, Verity and Fulcrum were already well-established applications. By 2005, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Information Access listed 25 vendors, with FAST Search and Transfer, Verity, Autonomy and Endeca populating the top right leaders quadrant. By comparison, the search functionality of SharePoint was poor.

8. What Does the Future Hold for ERP?

The '90s were a pivotal time for the tech sector. These were the years of the dot-com generation, the buildout of the internet and cellular networks. A time of AOL and CompuServe, nerds getting online for the first time via copper wire dial-up connections and chatting with fellow nerds on equally nerdish topics. It was also a time of business process reengineering (BPR) where the mantra was "don’t automate — obliterate."

7. Robotic Process Automation: Power to the People in 2021

COVID-19 forced us to ask: How fast can we reorganize for a new model of work? We've had to reimagine what we do and how we do it. Work is now less time- and place-based to be more flexible, more digital and more outcome-based. Many companies turned to robotic process automation (RPA) as a digital transformation hack. It’s faster and cheaper than a complete platform overhaul, and it reduces dependence on human workers for high-volume, menial tasks.

Learning Opportunities

6. Why IBM's AI, Hybrid Cloud Strategy Is More Than Good, It's Imperative

The fact that IBM spent a lot of time at its recent Think conference – the company’s flagship annual event for customers and partners — talking up artificial intelligence and cloud computing is no real surprise. Just over a year ago Arvind Krishna became chief executive and told everyone that IBM was going to focus on the cloud — in particular hybrid cloud — as well as a few other cutting-edge technologies like AI and quantum computing.   

5. Delivering Value From IT Audit

Earlier in my career I was an IT auditor (starting with Coopers & Lybrand), our contributor Norman Marks wrote. In fact, I was a bit of a techie and trailblazer when it came to understanding how the operating and related systems could affect the operation of applications and, therefore, business operations.

4. Why Enterprises Are Bringing Their Workloads to Multi-Cloud Environments

If we have become used to talking about the cloud in terms of private and public cloud, or even about hybrid cloud strategies, over the past couple of years organizations are increasingly turning to multi-cloud strategies with some even going so far as to dedicating a cloud to run a single app. But cloud computing, even if we are more familiar with it now than we were before is still complicated.

3. CMS vs. DMS: Understanding the Key Differences

The IDC projected in a 2020 report that enterprise data will grow at a 42.2% annual rate over the next two years. Enterprises have many software systems that manage this data. Two of them that often intersect are document management systems (DMS) and content management systems (CMS). Your enterprise’s greatest needs will naturally determine the type of system it invests in to manage documents and content, and it’s important to recognize some key differences between these two systems.

2. What's Behind the Explosion of Low-Code and No-Code Applications

Low-code and no-code applications are quickly becoming the technology of choice for many people in the digital workplace. According to recent research from Gartner, 70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies by 2025, up from less than 25% in 2020. The corresponding rise of low-code application platforms, or LCAPs, is driving the increase of citizen development, and the growth of business technologists who report outside of IT departments and create technology or analytics capabilities for internal or external business use.

1. Not So Open Any More: Elasticsearch Relicensing and Implications for Open Source Search

Elastic, the company founded by the creators of the Elasticsearch search server, recently announced a change to the license of its core product. Previously under the permissive Apache 2 license, future versions of the software will be dual-licensed allowing users to choose between Elastic’s own license or the Server Side Public License (SSPL) created by MongoDB.