ECM is a often a hinderance to Digital Transformation – AIIM Forum London 2016

I was lucky enough to attend the AIIM Forum London this week. In many ways though it felt like the ECM market hasn’t really changed over the last few years. But is ECM actually holding back Digital Transformation?
From the sessions Sharepoint is still the default for Document Management, and it still ends up a mess if it’s not done right. Most of the vendors are pushing Sharepoint plugins or services and these were mainly incremental advances. The only company which looked to be innovating was Box but they seemed happy to let IBM do all the talking for them.
One of the key takeaway I got§ from the day was to stop storing so much information. It’s estimated that 70% of all information stored is unnecessary. There’s a cost associated with storing documents as we all know. However, there’s also a cost associated with not storing a document. The cost of deciding that it’s not necessary to keep it and then to destroy it. At the moment with perceived low storage costs of storing everything is the default. Maybe if ECM solutions made it harder to store content and reflected the true cost of storage users would be more discerning about what they keep.

For a 7yr retention, 4 drawer file cabinet costs and organisation (in direct and indirect costs); – Physical – $17,000 – Electronic – $195

In general though the ECM market is waiting to be shaken up. Cloud of course is still the future for modern ECM. Cloud is the platform which makes Mobile possible, provides the security and flexibility businesses need while removing those upfront licences.

However from talking to attendees there are still very few organisations using cloud for document storage – and by that I mean all document storage not just the few documents you want to collaborate on. Most are under the belief that their existing on-premise file shares are more cost effective but as this slide below shows there are many hidden costs associated with that:

As Toby Bell (@tobybell) of IBM put it “often ECM is seen as a hinderance to Digital Transformation”. This is true and it mainly comes down to Governance. However, it’s also a great shame. ECM is about managing Information and Digital is is about processing it. The ECM market should be innovating and driving Digital rather than holding it back.