Legos, tinker toys, duplo blocks

Legos, Tinker Toys, Duplo Blocks and Content Management

By John Mancini • March 29, 2018 at 6:00 PM

A few months ago, we asked 180 senior executives for their perspective on their existing content management system – “How well do your existing IM/DM/RM systems meet your needs in the following core areas?”

The percentage that responded “fails” or “struggles” is pretty alarming.

% responding “fails” or “struggles”


Cloud capability


Mobile device access


Overcoming information sprawl and data silos


Usability and intuitive design


Having spent 20+ years in the content space, this is certainly a bit discouraging.

One reason for these challenges is the way that ECM solutions evolved over the years. Many comprehensive solutions are the result of a series of mergers and acquisitions, adding product X, product Y, and product Z to the mix in to solve content problems that required increasingly complicated sets of content capabilities. Often these acquisitions featured new and/or inconsistent code bases that were then incorporated and integrated into the original solution.

Connecting the software equivalent of Legos, Tinker Toys, and Duplo blocks worked pretty well for a time. But as the need for more modular content capabilities spread into multiple layers and processes – and as these capabilities needed to be accessed in mobile applications and on mobile devices – some strains began to show. The pain of keeping all these on-premises capabilities in synch grew as individual components were updated to the latest version.  Most notably, these difficulties were felt in the core areas listed above – cloud, mobile, findability, and usability.

Response to these challenges is at the core of the generational change in ECM solutions that is currently underway. Never before have I heard so many user organizations talking about content platform rationalization and migration and modernization. 

Over 80% of organizations now say they are moving in the direction of either a cloud strategy or a hybrid cloud/on-premises strategy. That is a clear change from where things were as recently as three years ago.

At the heart of this demand for content management solutions that are more cloud and mobile compatible is a desire to rethink how to connect – with a minimum of customization and a maximum of configuration – all of the various Lego, Tinker Toy, and Duplo content management capabilities that are necessary to a modern organization and its processes. Whether you call this content services (like Gartner does) or just the evolution of ECM capabilities, the core objective is the same – using the cloud to make all of this easier than it has been in the past.

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Topics: Enterprise Content Management