Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Gartner PCC Summit 2007 (part 5)

“Collaboration and enterprise content and process management need each other” (by Tom Deutsch from IBM) at PCC 2007 Summit.

Learn from past IT shifts. IBM is learning too, there vision is being developed as we talk.

Tom puts up the Content Management Maturity Model. 5 levels. Most companies have a CM strategy and nobody is in Level 5. The tools for Level 5 aren’t there yet. What IBM sees is a “pull back towards the silos (level 1)” using collaboration technology.

Collaboration Solution history isn’t encouraging:
- what happened when Notes was first released?
- what happened when users got their hands on the “F” drive?
- how disciplined have users been using email?

What can we learn from structured information management?
- massively centralized - mainframe
Can be too restrictive and inflexible
- massively decentralized - databases
Can be too disconnected and too easy to loose control over
- “Intelligently rationalized”
OK to have decentralized deployments when the info is truly local
Most need to be centralized, but quickly provisioned deployment

And what can we learn from ERP and CRM experiences?
- You need to get classification right:
Garbage in = garbage out
- Taxonomy drives process
Getting this right is the key.
- Mastering metadata is critical
Reusability of metadata
- You need a system of record
You need a single version of truth

Why did ERP and CRM systems come in in the first place?
- lots of silo’s
- server support, maintenance, and storage became unsustainable
- silo’s prevented a 360-degree view of what was happening in the business and organisation
- the enterprises needed control
Silo’s are good in the sense that they’re nimble etc., but it comes at a great cost.

What we’re doing w.r.t. PCC is harder than an ERP/CRM system.

User interfaces and authoring environments are fracturing…
- rise of real time collaboration - Instant Messaging embedded everywhere
- web 2.0 mashups
- high “experience” portal environments
- all the authoring environments are adding some sort of basic check-in/check-out
- changing workforce demographic
- users will jump around between working environments

Unmanaged collaboration = compliance problems:
  1. depending on business users is risky, error-prone and expensive (e-discovery tools don’t solve your problem when you have the problem)
  2. uncontrolled content gets lost in silos and stored everywhere… (simply storing so you can retrieving is not enough. It’s about: what happened at that time. Litigation is shifting from ‘can you find it’ to ‘what were you doing and why’)
  3. as compliance burden shifts to content handling/process, silo’s are even more problematic

Lessons to apply to collaboration deployments:
- you need to control deployment:
If you set 100 people loose they will do 100 different things
The cost of storage will become extremely prohibitive (e.g. storage costs on a Exchange server is lots more expensive than on a file server, prohibiting storage in email will make users move to other storage locations. However most of the tools don’t support this easily.)
Ask yourself what the inevitable result will be if you roll out collaboration solutions.
- Avoid vendor lock-in:
Proprietary vendor formats or lack of ability to fit into the larger Enterprise can become extremely expensive.
- mastering metadata is critical
Search will not to ‘magically’ bail you out.
The ability to deploy new applications depends upon the reuse and integrity of the metadata and having it populated in the system.
- “Intelligently rationalized”
OK to have decentral deploy when the info is truly local.
Most need to be centralized but quickly provisional as needed.
Nimble deployment and fast access to new solutions is required.
- You need a system of record
You need a single version of truth

And the resulting technological implications:
- you must be able to support multiple enduser clients
- must be able to support multiple collaborative environments
- lifecycle management, process and compliance initiatives need to work seamlessly in the background
- where people work cannot dictate the information governace
- decouple where people work from the interface

Tom shows IBM’s information management strategy (I can’t fully describe slide, hope to publish it in the future). Basically it has 4 levels:

- tools - processes - people (top level)
- unified data and content - business context - insightful relationships
- information on demand
- SAP - external supplier/ - etc (bottom level)

And finally Tom shows IBM’s ECM product vision. I can’t describe slide here either. Hope to publish it in the future.

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