Still into information silos?

Document records and Web content management continue to be seen as strategic endeavours for Asia-Pacific (APAC) organisations, yet few have managed to capitalise fully on their existing investments or have been able to articulate longer term, integrated information asset management strategies.

More than 60 per cent of APAC organisations have now bought into the managed content lifecycle paradigm, managing various forms of business-related content over its entire life. Many, however, have simply focused on reducing the effort and delays in having technical staff publish content to Web sites.

Increasingly, this focus has moved to minimising business risks associated with publishing various forms of information via multiple channels (for example, incorrect, inconsistent, conflicting, out-of-date or the untimely release of information).

Around two-thirds of these APAC organisations have already deployed one or more content management solutions (such as Web content, documents, images, reports) with the remainder still in development or due into production by the year ending 2003. Few APAC organisations have been willing, or indeed able, to spend the six- or seven-figure sums on best-of-breed content management systems (CMS) seen in the North Americas.

Viable alternatives for the mid-tier market have so far been few and far between. Vendors have not been able to match the demanding expectations of business users for the required levels of functionality, flexibility, stability, scalability and manageability at an appropriate cost.

This has left many APAC organisations with a number of siloed content management applications that are now being considered for replacement or to be rationalised down to one or two core standardised vendor solutions. Meta Group believes that by 2005, at least 40 per cent of these APAC organisations (versus 7 per cent today) will have deployed a single primary content management platform based on a well-defined enterprise content management (ECM) architecture.

By focusing only on immediate Web content management needs, however, organisations will continue to create new information silos unable to leverage higher value services such as personalisation, community publishing, profiled subscription and notifications, taxonomy management and detailed audit reporting.

Moreover, these will have little chance in minimising organisational risk by supporting important content handling policies and procedures.

John Brand is senior program director, electronic business strategies, Meta Group Australia

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