In case you missed our recent webinar, Forrester’s Craig LeClair enlightened us on where the market is headed relative to enterprise content management (ECM) and business process integration. With the revolutionary shift toward cloud and mobile computing, the process boundary is no longer fitting neatly into the context under which it was originally developed. LeClair said you can see this every day, where a process boundary used to be a, “…back-office entry point where a package of mail was received that kicked off a document-centric or content-centric workflow” has now “become something right in the customer’s pocket.” He described four content trends to watch: 1) Auto-classification, 2) Open source and open standards, 3) Digital preservation, and 4) New ways to look at governance. In fact, governance tops the list of challenges today for most ECM customers.
LeClair spent a lot of time discussing how the ECM community is starting to look at content transformation and how ECM is moving toward a more process-oriented view. According to him, we are seeing a subtle change, the content space is moving more towards a process view. The business side is more influential in the decision making process around content management and we are now seeing a blurring of these technologies into a platform that can be used to target industry-specific business problems.
The big story according to LeClair is an extension to the ECM market where an entirely new software market is emerging. Forrester is calling it the, “Smart Process Apps” market and is estimating it will grow at twice the rate of the enterprise software market and reach about $30B in 2016. LeClair says, “Focus is going to start beating scope.” By that, he explains that a lot of the systems that were designed at the end of the last decade by large enterprise software vendors have become way too customized. “They were never built to do end-to-end processes, and they don’t have the process orchestration layers that embody the things that change like business rules and workflows and collaboration components… there’s something missing. What’s missing is more focused and lighter industry-specific solutions.” He details use cases where this is happening today in financial services, government and healthcare and wrapped-up his presentation with a sobering final slide on digital disruption – Forrester predicts 70% of companies in the F1000 will be new in this decade alone.
The webinar is chock full of great historical context and trend analysis. If you want to see how radically the world is changing in this new era of cloud-based computing and business analytics, give the webinar a listen. As the leading open source ECM alternative on the market supporting open standards, cloud and mobile with the security, back-end integration capabilities to support workflow and process integration, Alfresco welcomes this fresh look into the future. In fact, we are already building towards it!