Saturday, May 26, 2018

"Content Management" - Hard Problems

There are a number of "hard problems" in the context of Enterprise Content Management (ECM or just CM) and institutional information in general.
  1. Treating Web content as something separate.
    1. Makes extra work.
    2. Creates errors and conflicts by having information in more than one place.
  2. History and archiving
    1. Archiving fixed artifacts is hard enough, but how do we keep long term history of all the information in all the systems of an organization?
      1. Business systems
      2. Phone calls and text messages
      3. Email
      4. Contact management
      5. Office electronic documents
      6. Web CM
      7. Photos and videos
      8. Printed documents
      9. External systems
        1. Social media
        2. Chats
  3. Search
    1. Information and data is stored in multiple systems in multiple forms, from simple word processing documents to complex business systems. Currently nothing is capable of connecting them all in a useful way.
  4. Formats
    1. How can we possibly relate data, documents, pictures, audio and video in all the systems in an organization? It's being worked on with such things as facial recognition, media tagging, etc. But, we aren't there, yet.
Many enterprise software systems have a Web interface or are Web based entirely. That helps with problem #1, but, typically, not any of the others.

Popular "content management systems" have all of these problems. Wordpress, Drupal, et. al. are self-contained. Plugins often provide interfaces to other systems, but not to the point of searching all of them at once. Incorporating word processing and spreadsheet documents is usually clumsy or impossible. History and archiving are idiosyncratic, usually in the form of database exports with no standardized structure.