Digital Cloud

A Tale of Two Industries – A Revolution in the Cloud

By John Mancini • 22 Feb 2018

''It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)

When I think about this industry and where it is headed, sometimes I can’t quite believe how much things have changed – and will continue to change.  Amidst myriad content management options available to users (that’s a good thing!) and all of the opinions about those options (is it ECM? Is it content management? Is it content services?), sometimes we get thrown into the kind of confusion that Dickens discussed back in the 19th century.

A lot of this industry upheaval centers around the impact of the cloud on enterprise computing models. And indeed, if I think about how perceptions about the cloud have changed, in just the span of the past five years, it truly is a tale of two industries – pre-cloud and post-cloud.

In 2012, AIIM asked this question of 300+ end user organizations: 

What is your organization’s primary strategy on moving content management systems (document, web, records) to 3rd party (or government) clouds?

The answers are revealing. 53% had NO plans for the cloud or actually had an “ANTI-CLOUD” policy. And another 12% had no idea.

We are outsourcing all of our document and records management systems to a 3rd party


We are moving/have moved our document and records management to the cloud


We are moving/have moved our active DM/CM to the cloud, but records stay on-premises


We are moving records/email archive to the cloud but leaving active DM/CM on-premises


We will have a hybrid system of linked cloud and on-premises collaboration/content management


We will use stand-alone document/content/collaboration/file-share systems in the cloud where needed, in addition to on-premises


We have no plans to deploy any of our content management/collaboration systems in the cloud


We have a policy of NOT storing content of any value in the cloud


Don’t know


So, for two out of three organizations, cloud options for content management simply weren’t on the radar screen 

Fast forward to a slightly different question we asked a couple of months ago to a similar crowd.

How do you view your delivery/deployment methods for content management within the next two years?

More towards cloud


More towards on-premises


More towards a hybrid of cloud and on-premises


More towards outsourcing


Well, now that’s what I would call a tipping point.

Cloud content management is an important innovative technology for three reasons.

First, it provides organizations who have never before considered electronic content management with a means to do so easily and with a minimum of business disruption. And secondly, it opens the market by providing standardized functionality at affordable prices that can be purchased by the “drink” rather than by the gallon – and implemented with a minimum of dedicated IT support. 

But most importantly, cloud content management is a key enabler for a new set of IT requirements driven by “the business” and defined by usability, mobility, and the cloud. Cloud content management solves five crucial pain points that historically have been obstacles to content management adoption – 1) mobility, 2) productivity, 3) agility, 4) scalability, and 5) control.

Pre- and post-cloud. It’s clearly a tale of two industries.

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Topics: Cloud