Category Architecture Archives - Differentis

Enterprise Content Management: Is it an insurmountable opportunity?

By Andy Montgomery

Date 30 May 2012 Tags

Enterprise content Management (ECM) can significantly improve productivity, particularly in workflows, especially those with electronic collaboration, and can respond quickly and cheaply to compliance requirements.

However, in many companies ECM-related strategies have not been successful. There are three main reasons: First, business sponsorship of ECM has been insufficient to overcome the challenges of embedding the technologies and disciplines in to the business. Second, content is stranded in silos and largely unreachable for analysis – its discovery and distribution is haphazard and older content swamps newer content, and this overwhelms users. Third, ECM systems themselves are not designed to take account of workflows and user conditions – they fall increasingly short of users’ demands for collaboration, and the proliferation of overlapping ECM applications compounds user confusion and separation of content. Increasingly, users are abandoning legacy ECM systems because of poor user experience. As a result these companies are unable to extract much value from their content.

ECM applications are elective, not mandatory. Their adoption is critically dependent on the people and process elements of ECM implementations to generate and sustain commitment to their use. These elements are the most difficult aspects of building an effective ECM capability. However, the recent huge growth of inexpensive, highly capable ECM solutions creates a real opportunity to raise workflow productivity and meet compliance targets…if only companies could change their approach to ECM…

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Enterprise Portals – they’re easy, aren’t they?

By Pete Buffham

Date 19 November 2010 Tags

The propagation of portals continues apace. Often viewed as a panacea, portals are seen as a simple way to transform an organisation, providing much needed freedom of access, and helping to improve compliance processes.

It is possible to offer an almost instantaneous intranet, with built in functions such as collaborative working, document, content and knowledge management, straight out of the box.

The road ahead may look clear and straight but how can you be sure you’re not going to be led down a blind alley?

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IT Architecture in a disjointed world

By Pete Buffham

Date 1 January 2010 Tags

Is designing a successful IT architecture really a black art?
Or is the problem in building one and sticking to it?

Most CIOs seem to think they need one, and many people in the business would accept the need for one, if they had it explained to them what their purpose was, but why do so many firms have the difficulty they do?

CIOs employ people called Architects and perhaps letting them drive “the Architecture Process” doesn’t sound a bad idea, but what are the likely consequences if they do? The CIO has to consider not only the technology (the applications and infrastructure) but also business imperatives and the nature of the information required, and understanding all of this can be hard enough, if not impossible (see: Where’s Einstein when you need him). The aim isn’t perfection, but good enough, but it’s easy to spend lots of money getting into a blind alley.

What hinders success, and how can the barriers be removed? Building to an architecture looks very attractive, but where do you start without a green field?

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Where’s Einstein when you need him?

By Pete Buffham

Date 15 August 2009 Tags

The goal of creating an IT architecture that supports the business and adds real value, is shared by technical architects and most CIOs alike.

Achieving that goal means being able to manage the difference between breadth and depth; we have already argued (in IT Architecture in a disjointed world) that architecture can only be done effectively by a team of business and technical people capable of making appropriate trade-offs.

Here we are going to argue that the same principle applies within an organisation’s community of technical architects. No-one knows it all (not even Bill Gates knows everything there is to know about Microsoft products) so you need a well organised and knowledgeable team. Otherwise it’s going to be tough and fruitless.

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