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The Future of Content Management: Virtual Content Infrastructure (VCI)

Content management, why it matters

Content management is one of the oldest areas in information management, which deals with efficient management of various content used in business. Most organizations have deployed multiple content management solutions (CMSs) over the years, from simple shared storage to an enterprise-level CMS. Is content management not an issue anymore at your place?

Checking the reality, it might be the case that the CMS carries a lot of files, but it is still uneasy to find what you want. Or your CMS has just a limited portion and does not have what you want. This incomplete content management will deteriorate the overall productivity of your organization. Innovating your current content management should be the starting point of your digital transformation journey since the content is at the core of business operation and the most valuable digital asset in any modern organization. Recently remote working has become an inevitable option for most companies, and a trustworthy CMS is necessary more than ever to support remote workers.


Unresolved problems in content management:
insufficiency and redundancy

Here is a simple but practical health check to find out whether your organization succeeds in content management or not.

  • What is the probability of finding what you want from your CMS?
  • How fast can you locate what you want on your CMS?

The probability of finding depends on the coverage of your CMS. If it holds most of your content, the chance is high. Otherwise, the likelihood is low, unfortunately. This is the insufficiency problem of CMS which means that your CMS is not sufficient to serve all your content. You have non-trivial files somewhere out of CMS like PCs, email servers, and other application systems.

How fast can you locate what you want on CMS? Fast enough, for example, in a minute? You may browse the folders of your CMS here and there. You may do a keyword search and spend extra time pinning down the right one among similar files. Your CMS must have many redundant copies if you feel uncomfortable locating the wanted file within the CSM. This is the redundancy problem of CMS.

If you do not have a clear strategy to alleviate the problems, it worsens day by day, and you will eventually end up in information chaos. You are not alone in this ditch. Why do the problems remain unsolved, even though CMS has made numerous advances for several decades? The truth is that you and your co-workers should have done some manual jobs faithfully along with the CMS for successful content management. One of the jobs is to check all non-trivial content in CMS. The other is to delete the redundant content. Otherwise, your CMS becomes insufficient and redundant sooner or later.


Content management and well-disciplined users

It does not seem challenging to check content in CMS properly and delete redundant content regularly. But it does. Let’s enumerate the rules of a well-disciplined user to follow along the entire content lifecycle

  • Rule 1 (Create): Create one from scratch or a copy. Check it in the proper folder of CMS.
  • Rule 2 (Edit): Find a file from CMS and check out, edit, and check it back in CMS. Do not
    use one on your PC, a localized, unless you are sure that no one else is editing it and it is the
    latest version. After editing, check it in the proper place of CMS.
  • Rule 3 (Share): Find a file in CMS share its URL. Do not attach the file itself.
  • Rule 4 (Instant clean-up): Delete the copies on your PC whenever you have done with them.
  • Rule 5 (Regular clean-up): Clean up the similar but obsolete copies regularly on your CMS.

Rules 1 – 4 are straightforward, even though they are not easy to follow. Rule 5 is somewhat ambiguous. Different people may judge the identical copy differently, obsolete vs. necessary.
Believing that people will comply with these rules is naive or too optimistic. Users’ habits are far from these rules, and even a mindful user cannot comply with these easily. It is not wellaccepted to enforce these as a corporate policy. Consequently, many localized and unmanaged files sprawl up, you encounter them often out of CMS, and your mint CMS will soon become insufficient and redundant.

To succeed in content management, we should have had a proper CMS and disciplined users observing the above rules voluntarily to improve
the sufficiency and reduce the redundancy of CMS. The industry could not find solutions to the problems, and analysts were obliged to declare in 2017, “Enterprise Content Management(ECM) is dead,” until then, ECM was considered the most advanced CMS. The problems still linger around unsolved.

The Association of Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) says that “Organizations are losing the battle against information chaos and need to rethink outdated manual approaches to information management” in their report, the “AIIM 2021 State of the Intelligent Information Management Industry”




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