After about 15 years in the Enterprise/Business Content Management space, I am sad to say we’re not much better than 10 years ago.
Our ECM software is still “off course” and, more importantly, users hate it. They are forced to use it mostly because some higher management decided that’s the way things need to be done. It is a “process thing”.
Sure, one can find examples of truly successful projects but let’s face it… they are not the norm.
The usual reaction of vendors to this challenge is to build the “yet another ECM platform/software/product”. Which will be leaner, friendlier, modern… cloudier (eeyy!) than the current ones. And will sell like gold while conquering the world.
I think we should take all that knowledge we gathered in building content management systems and mix it with the real, basic way people use content in the first place. In the Operating System.
Think of it. What’s the most important difference between a normal file and a piece of content? Metadata. You could devise a pretty clever engine to manage metadata for all files at the OS level.
Some will say that it’s more than metadata that makes a content object. Such as behavior. I would say there’s an app for anything. Apply this pattern and your behavior is done. Based on metadata, of course.
Make that synch-able across devices. How? Through the cloud like paradigm. Public, private, hybrid.. whateva’.
Being in the OS solves also the “checkout -> open in native app -> save back” conundrum. Yes, the “web” ECM suites are still struggling with this in 2015+. Incredible, isn’t it? Anyone remember the Java applets – they just don’t die because there is no other way around it. yet (but after 10+ years of them being used in this use case).
Security? You already have identity management at OS level pretty much going fast ahead to integrated IDM already. Much faster than you would do outside the OS. The rules themselves (as with all the other content governance mechanisms) will obviously need to be in a specific software, on top of the basic OS.
Viewers? There’s an app for that, especially with the sandboxing each modern OS now has. Rights Management? Much easier.
Can you really spot any significant problem which would balance the benefits of having the Content Management Engine built-in the Operating System? With Storage, Metadata, Search, Plugin/App model for extensions, IDM, Security (View/Read/Version/…) & Synch.
One reason would be that in order to do this you need to be an OS vendor with a significant footprint. Google and Apple are far away from this line of thinking, so they probably won’t aim at it. Oracle might see it, but I still don’t have an Oracle OS on any of my devices.
Microsoft is really the only one who can pull it off. But I think they already have a lot on their hands. SharePoint fantastic rise should have already given them the heads up on this one, on another hand…
Or an ISV, brave enough to build OS extensions for Win, OSX, IOS, Linux & Android. Bundle them together with smart software, service backed from an elastic infrastructure…
One can only dream.
Dreams do come true, you know?