New Years 2008: Looking Back & Looking Forward

leader in fieldHappy New Year to my loyal readers. I’ll bet many of you were wondering if I would ever write a post again. Well here we go…

Looking Back at 2007

Last year was a year of amazing change for me personally and for the ECM industry. A year ago today I would have never guessed that I would be making a significant career change in 2007 by accepting a new position with a Global 50 energy company with global scope and broad operational responsibility. All directly related to making ECM better for my company. Also this change would impact my family by moving us to Houston and involving travel globally on a regular (1-2 weeks per month) basis. Whew!

At the beginning of 2007 the big news was the launch of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 and the potential impact on the ECM marketplace. Also Web 2.0 was gaining ground and becoming part of the everyday lexicon. I even spoke about this at the Gilbane Conference in San Francisco last April; Is It Possible To Successfully Manage Content In The New Wild West: ECM In A Web 2.0 World. By the end of 2007 Web 2.0 has become somewhat passe’ and everyone is now talking about Enterprise 2.0 and some companies are actually doing something about it. Taking the Web 2.0 social technologies and capabilities and making them part of enterprise content management solutions.

Last month while in London for a couple of weeks I had the opportunity to meet with founders John Newton and Ian Howells at the Alfresco world headquarters. Alfresco is making ECM in a Web 2.0 world a reality by integrating the Alfresco content management platform with leading open source Web 2.0 social computing technologies and services such as Facebook for collaboration, iGoogle, Adobe Flex, MediaWiki for wikis, TypePad and WordPress for blogging. The idea is very interesting and I think they are on to something by providing corporate users with tools that are intuitive, easy to use and in some cases, ones that they already have experience with.

One thing I think is missing is a governance model for this type of extremely flexible and user controlled content management environment. What may be needed is what I am calling a Governance 2.0 model. I think if Alfresco proposes a governance model that addresses some of the security and compliance concerns that corporate users may have with this “Web 2.0” style ECM solution then they will really have something. I really want to thank both of them for sharing their ideas and thoughts with me last month.

Looking Forward

Looking forward toward 2008, I am excited at the possibilities the responsibilities of my new position offers. I am also responsible for the personal data privacy program for the company and will be expanding my horizons and knowledge in that direction. The biggest change I see looking forward is that I now have a chance to actually prove that I can make ECM better for a large multinational corporation. It has to be workable and I cannot do this for the organization or “to” the organization. My job will be to take the tools (both technical and procedural) and help the organization grow the capability to better manage information through people, process, and technology capabilities that my team helps to grow organically over time.

This is a huge challenge but I am eager to make a difference and continue to share what we learn. What works and what does not work. I am also committed to helping lead the effort to create a new professional discipline for information management professionals. I wrote about this before but my thinking and approach has evolved over the last four months. In my next post I will share my new manifesto that makes the case for this new professional discipline.

I am not one for New Years resolutions but I am committing to the goal of trying to write at least one post per week here at BetterECM. Now that I have drank from the fire hose over the last four months and have pieced together a plan going forward I think that this goal is achievable.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions and will continue to share what I learn and continue to learn from other’s outstanding blogs also. Thanks and Happy New Year!

Technorati Tags: , , , ,