Nuxeo Insights: The Evolution of Content in the Software-Defined Enterprise!

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1 Nuxeo Insights: The Evolution of Content in the Software-Defined Enterprise How Content-Centric Business Applications are Redefining Content, Big Data and Enterprise Content Management

2 The Evolution of Content in the Software-Defined Enterprise Table of Contents Welcome to the Software-Defined Enterprise 3 Rethinking Our View of Content 5 The New Role of Content Management Platforms 8 Building Today s Content Platforms: Systems of Empowerment 11 A Strong Content Foundation Supports Business Innovation 14 About Nuxeo 15

3 Welcome to the Software-Defined Enterprise There are major changes taking place in IT today driven by the ever increasing demands of customers and the advancement of the digital services based economy. For organizations to stay relevant and competitive they need to be constantly innovating. That means traditional models of infrastructure, applications and operations need to change, moving toward a more dynamic and adaptable operating model. One area we see this reflected clearly is in content management. Organizations have been creating and managing content for a long time. Traditionally, the primary purpose for content management platforms was the storage, lifecycle management and sharing of content. While that need hasn t gone away, organizations are starting to recognize that the content they create and obtain through daily operations is a key driver of innovation. The introduction of web and mobile applications has forced us to rethink how content is created (hint: it s no longer all about documents and files). Big Data is also playing a role in the evolution of content and the role of content management platforms. Our view of content itself has also changed. No longer located in static, lifeless documents, content has become a living asset that can be separated and pieced together in different ways, depending on the business processes that use it. The ability to mold content in fresh and creative ways is a strategic differentiator for any organization. Content drives innovation when it s delivered to the right person, at the right time, in the right context. This is done by providing content within the context of the business applications that need it, and ensuring its availability organization-wide regardless of who created it. 3

4 Enlightened organizations also understand that as they capture more and more content from customer interactions (what we call Big Data), they need to continually analyze it, defining or adapting products and services, as well as business processes, to meet the needs of the business and the customer. The days of monolithic legacy content management systems that store and manage static, lifeless content are over. Time to market is critical, with shorter development schedules and more competitors than ever before. New modern architectures, platforms and technologies must be leveraged to take advantage of content and build today s business applications. Here is what you need to understand. The path to sustainable competitive advantage is through your content and the applications you build. You need to constantly find innovative approaches to support and deliver your business information by creating the right building blocks that can be reconfigured as needed in a short amount of time. We call this the software-defined enterprise and it s changing everything. 4

5 Rethinking Our View of Content From Lifeless, Static Documents... Content management has come a long way. The first electronic content management systems managed electronic files (including scanned paper) with some properties (metadata) attached - what is called unstructured information. Traditional content management platforms have their roots in document management, which in turn came from records management. Records management was invented to index boxes of paper documents with metadata, enabling you to find the paper more easily and apply some retention rules. This paper was eventually scanned into the platform and you used document management to manage what were essentially TIFFs turned into PDFs, with some metadata. Evolution of Content Management Content Complexity / Volume Paper Scanned Paper Office Files Pictures Video Structured Content Big Data Record Management Document Management ECM Suites (DAM, CM, DM) Application Platforms Big Systems Era Desktop Era Cloud Era 5

6 The Evolution of Content in the Software-Defined Enterprise Then, desktop computers and MS Word arrived. Scanned papers became Word and Excel files. Although now in digital form, they were managed in pretty much the same way, using metadata to apply rules and processes to enable collaboration. To Living, Active Content With the introduction of web and mobile applications we have been forced to reconsider our idea of what content is. We have progressed from unstructured, document-based content to producing content in its natural form: structured. But it s about more than structured vs unstructured. Content residing in unstructured documents (be they paper or digitalized) is static, lifeless, inactive. Content in a structured format is living, active - we can mold to fit whatever processes we need to do our jobs. It s easily findable; we can abstract out the pieces needed and combine it in new, innovative ways. This new way of creating and managing content opens a world of capabilities for both the content itself and the business applications we develop to use it. Organizations are building all kinds of new applications to create and share content. In many cases they are Web-based, mobile - useful for employees who aren t tied to a desk or are constantly on the move, and for consumers who are demanding new ways to engage with them. Traditional enterprise content management platforms are designed for archiving and Did You Know: This change in the way content is created and managed is not new. We saw it happen with web content management platforms years ago, as organizations moved away from the static html brochure-ware websites to dynamic, real-time personalized web properties. We see it today, as they combine content in unique ways across multiple channels and touch points to deliver experiences that match the needs of customers at every point in their journey. Enterprise content management s evolution has been slower, but it is happening. 6

7 storage. Many simply become glorified file shares providing a place for documents to live, supporting core document management functions that really do no more than follow the paradigm of paper in file folders, in file cabinets. Traditional content management platforms aren t made to handle live applications and service living, structured information / content. Content management platforms must support new ways to not only create and manage content, but make it easily accessible as distinct elements to be combined into different ways. Revising the Metadata Description This is where the metadata description needs to be revised. The intent of metadata has traditionally been to provide specific information about an asset s content (who created it, when was it created, a brief description, etc.). For documents, this will continue to be the case. But creating content in a more structured format using web and mobile applications means that this data is not necessarily ancillary to the file - it replaces the file. In these cases, metadata becomes content itself and needs to be managed accordingly. Take it a step further and we see content as a combination of structured and unstructured information, increasing the complexity of its management. When we manage content in this structured way, it has the ability to take on a life of its own and through the applications we create, becomes part of the business process, evolving as the business evolves. 7

8 The New Role of Content Management Platforms The challenges of traditional ECMs have opened the door for agile content management providers to gain a foothold. Those that provide content services and content collaboration via the cloud, that recognize new channels and devices, and new ways to quickly spin up applications, provide unique and innovative approaches to organizing and delivering content in a more meaningful way. These providers are changing the way we think of content management in the enterprise. Flexible application platforms are needed so that solutions can be adapted to the specific needs of each organization, enabling them to support their employees and business processes. Content is fed into and created within these applications based on the business processes that define them. As the needs of the business change, IT must adapt and deliver the best solutions to meet those needs. Those changes must happen in hours and days, not weeks and years. ECM vendors are developing their own ready-made applications on top of their platforms for collaboration, as well as mobile and cloud access. Unfortunately they aren t acknowledging two key challenges: they are still creating silos of static, lifeless content, and they are building generic solutions that can t meet the needs of every organization out there. Organizations understand their processes better than any software vendor can. Tools and technologies (i.e. building blocks) that will help them build business applications specific to how they work, are the future of content management. This includes technologies that support content as living assets, enabling its use in a variety of presentations depending on the business need. 8

9 How Big Data Fits into the Content Management Paradigm Let s add Big Data to the mix. Big Data is the collection and management of large sets of data - both structured and unstructured - that can t be managed by normal data processing and management systems. Big data includes everything from social data, to financial metrics, customer analytics, , transactions and more. Data harvest analyze segment compute input output level etc. Content create collaborate version share exchange transmit distribute etc. Big Data and content is not the same thing. Big Data exists because machines have scaled dramatically over the past few years and are able to not only harvest large amounts of information, but also analyze it and segment it. It s then put into a format (content) that allows humans to derive insights from it. This process enables an organization to adapt their processes to better serve customers. It s this mix of Big Data, the analytics derived from it and the realtime content created and managed daily that allows organizations 9

10 to constantly improve processes and applications to better support customers. The ability to collect, analyze and adapt is not something that can happen with legacy systems. It requires rapid application development, flexibility and the ability to scale quickly at a lower cost, and it s a continuous cycle of change. Did You Know: There s No Such Thing as Big Content There is a new term being used today in association with Big Data - Big Content. Big Content is described as the growing amount of unstructured content that organizations create and consume every year. It s said to be a subset of Big Data that needs its own tools and processes. For example, bank transactions are data (stored in a database), bank statements generated from that data is content. Consider an application for credit. The form may be filled out online - this is content. It is then analyzed and compared against data related to the person applying for credit (e.g. credit scores, banking history - Big Data processing) and a decision is made, creating letters of acceptance/rejection and other reports - again more content. But if we think about content as human-digestible, then we need to remember that although machines have scaled, humans have not, so having another set of systems and processes to manage these large amounts of content isn t really what is needed. Once Big Data has been processed and turned into something consumable by humans, we need to place it into the business systems to be used by the people that need it. To get the most value out of our content, we need to provide it within the context of a business process, giving the right information to deliver insights and answers, and enabling us to add to the content, and/or share it with others. 10

11 Building Today s Content Platforms: Systems of Empowerment Let s step back to beginning for one minute. When content was first managed, we created systems of record - a way to store and manage content. Next, we moved to systems of engagement - where organizations needed to provide tools that enabled employees and customers to collaborate. This collaboration will always need to happen, but it s not just about collaboration, it s about what you can do with the content itself. Today, it s about systems of empowerment. We ve come to a point where most organizations realize the productivity gains earned by computing and technology over the last twenty years are at a finite limit. We now need to empower workers. Modern organizations need to enable their employees to do their jobs properly and become more efficient - that s where content, and flexible business applications, play a big role. Today s organizations don t want silos of information; they want everything to be part of a corporate ecosystem. They want, and need, to empower employees by providing them all the tools and information they need to do their job effectively. Across verticals, organizations that want to gain a competitive edge are building solutions that deliver highly relevant, timely, contextual information. What is needed is a content-services platform that can integrate living, active content directly with the business applications that need it. Let s consider what this means by looking at a couple of quick examples. 11

12 An application to detect credit fraud Imagine a financial services company which gets hundreds of applications daily for loans online. It s impossible to manually review every loan application and respond to the applicant in a reasonable time frame. It would be great to be able to feed the application into a system that could check across a range of other systems and financial institutions to see if the applicant is real and the information is accurate, flagging those applications that might be fraudulent. In this case, content is created, and then data and analytics churn the numbers and analyze patterns (Big Data processing). In the end, content is produced that needs to be interpreted by real people. Big Data projects are meant to find things in data (trends, compliance, fraud, etc.). Once you get the information, you need to act on it. That s when you need to manage structured content/ information, process it and collaborate on it. It s a cycle of applications / data / analytics that feed back into the applications. Electronic Arts is another great example EA builds software games. In response to a potential threat of information leaks about new games and updates, it needed a solution to track and control its video game builds. EA developed a content-based application that manages all the information for each game, including details of the game, who it s built for, what stage of the development process it s at, who is on the list of beta testers and how is the testing is going, where the binaries for the software are located, and so on. In this case, there are actual files - game binaries - but the binaries are only one piece of the content that needs to be managed and secured, the rest of the content is managed via a structured (form) interface. 12

13 Both of these uses cases exemplify knowledge worker solutions and business process applications, the types of solutions that drive innovation. These types of solutions offer content within the context of an employee s actual work processes, empowering them with the right information at the right time, in the right context. In both these examples, content is provided through a tightly integrated set of content-services from a content management platform. New content can also be created directly within the business application and it s managed in the content management platform, making it available to others who may need it. Files Big Data Social Form Contents s Content Repository Business App Business App Business App In this approach, content is treated as a living asset that is mixed and molded in different ways, based on the user s needs. 13

14 A Strong Content Foundation Supports Business Innovation Is Enterprise Content Management dead? No, but the value proposition has changed. It s no longer about simply providing a repository for static content, with workflows/rules to manage it. We need to remember that content is no longer all about documents, and how they need to be stored. Content is created in web and mobile applications, it is output processed from Big Data systems, and it s a living asset that adapts as the business changes. It s this new view of content that gives an organization a competitive edge. It s not about building bigger better content management platforms that act as silos of information. It s about building systems of empowerment - business applications that create and utilize content to support customers (both internal and external), systems that are flexible and quick to adapt as things change. Organizations that are able to bypass legacy systems and build at greater scale and lower cost will be disruptive, and they will be successful. Both content and data are strategic weapons that smart leaders recognize and use to their advantage. We give meaning to that content and data by surfacing it within process-based applications that need it for decision making, innovation, customer experience management. We empower employees by giving them all the information they need when they need it, making them work more efficiently and effectively. If we are aren t taking care to ensure our information is wellmanaged and available to the right people across the organization, business innovation will not happen. It bears repeating that content drives innovation when it s delivered to the right person, at the right time, in the right context. And no organization can afford not to do that in today s world. 14

15 About Nuxeo Nuxeo provides an extensible and modular Open Source Content Management Platform enabling architects and developers to easily build and run business applications. Designed by developers for developers, the Nuxeo Platform offers modern technologies, a powerful plug-in model and extensive packaging capabilities. It comes with ready-to-use Document Management, Digital Asset Management and Case Management packages organizations rely on Nuxeo to run business-critical applications, including Electronic Arts, Netflix, Sharp, FICO, the U.S. Navy, and Jeppesen, a Boeing Company. Nuxeo is dual-headquartered in New York and Paris. For more information about Nuxeo, visit 15

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