Cloud synced storage is not content management…yet

I recently received a gigantic amount of free cloud storage from a leading provider. I thought, “Hey, drop your Amazon S4 account, save a few bucks, and continue cloud backup/sync for free!” While I did cancel my S4 / Jungledisk account…which worked flawlessly, I have mild regrets since the new provider’s sync tool is more like a beta (it’s not Jungledisk, Carbonite, or Time Machine). Moreover, it got me thinking about my file drive “content management” and how I still live in the 1980’s, despite designing and building content management solutions for a living!

I have Office 365 for email and SharePoint, but Mac-SharePoint sync is still love-hate. Like the days of my 486SX, I have my files

The cloud-based storage that I’m using allows me to create folders and subfolders. Wow, I’m using Windows Explorer! I can search my folders and files with a traditional free text search. I’m thinking “Finder” now on my Mac.

From ECM Project to Steady State

One often overlooked, yet critical component to enterprise content management (ECM) implementations is role design and ownership for post go-live sustainability. We find that many tasks that are project intensive activities are left unmanaged and unattended once the application is in steady state.

This experience is more commonplace with small-scale ECM implementations, while we’ve seen the same issues with large-scale deployments, as well. Project managed structured communications, change management, and training programs are orchestrated during the project’s solution development lifecycle; application governance and operational support tends to default to IT project stakeholders post implementation. This may suffice for organizations with a strong PMO group and well-defined content management roles; it often becomes unsustainable for long-term ECM manageability and growth.

Specific areas that often go overlooked post-implementation for enterprise content management maintenance and support includes content architecture maintenance, site and collaboration standards adherence, and content management practices. Governance and organization role design to manage these ongoing activities should be defined during the project to assure maintenance and growth of your ECMS.

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Start small, scale fast…

I remember the slide and deployment planning mantra “start small, scale fast” from very early in my career working in Accenture’s Human Performance Service Line. I see this corporate lingo bingo is back in vogue with consulting marketeers. Back in the early 2000’s it was a slide that we’d throw into our approach decks in preparation for defining scope for our portal, content or knowledge management integration projects. Even though most of our client projects followed a typical waterfall SDLC methodology, we would advise our clients to bake in iterative prototyping, early adoption usability testing, and focus on manageable scope deployments that provided value early…and often.

Since those days of trying to sell this approach within our program planning, the IT project-sphere has embraced this approach through methodology (Agile), more pay-for-play and bite-sized technology offerings, and the urgent desire to show bottom-line customer value immediately. With the rapid pace of business and technology innovation, large long-term deployments have become the dinosaur of the past for our information management deployments. I believe the deployment of now and the future is to plan, design, and deploy with immediacy, value, and the least business strain on internal and external customers.