Achilles_Heel

The Achilles Heel of Many Content Management Implementations

By John Mancini • 9 Feb 2018

Wikipedia is a good place to start in any post that alludes to Greek mythology:

In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die young. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx, which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into the water; however, as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. One day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him shortly afterwards.

So, what is the Achilles heel in most content management implementations?

I think the fundamental weakness in many implementations has been a failure to make content management capabilities directly available from the enterprise applications that knowledge workers use every day.

Far too often, I see workers who suffer from “two-screen schizophrenia.” On one screen, they have a content management solution open. And on the other, a “business” application like CRM or ERP or Accounting or HR. You can track the inefficiency of their work process (and frankly, often their welling frustration) by following their head motions: back and forth between content management and the business application, acting like a human systems integrator.

Consider these data points from some recent AIIM surveys:

46% – “Our existing ECM/DM/RM system fails or struggles to meet our needs for integration with enterprise systems and interoperability.”

58% – “Integration of systems” is a key business driver for document and records management projects in our organization.

48% – “Advanced integration of systems and content” is a top functional requirement for a content management solution. 

When you dive a bit further into specific processes and applications, the “two-screen” phenomenon becomes clear:

AIIM-Research-ECM-Integration-Statistics.png

Some organizations approach the integration problem via configuration. Configuration modules offer convenient ways to integrate your ECM system with other software programs and hardware. For example, connecting scanners and multifunction devices to your content management system allows you to archive documents directly as part of the scan process. Look for built-in or easy-to-configure integrations with some of the most common pain points – such as CRM, ERP, and e-mail.

For more extensive integrations, your organization may need custom programming via an SDK (software developer kit). Look for an SDK that enables integrations with an extremely broad set of programming languages and technologies (.NET, PHP, Java, NodeJS, Ruby, Perl).

Whichever path you take, curing two-screen schizophrenia is a major step in moving from a content management solution that merely stores documents to one that is fully imbedded in your business processes.

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Topics: Enterprise Content Management, Team Productivity

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