Blog posts from IT 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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The XP trap, there is a better way

By Ronald Mackintosh

Date 22 April 2011 Tags

XP the faithful servant

XP has been a faithful servant of the corporate world. Most corporations have built a locked down image of XP to run on their desktops, and this is still widely regarded as the best way to manage a large estate without explosive support and testing costs. This has come at the price of speed and flexibility for the business and of varying suitability and usability for users, but this is a trade-off that the CIO (and his colleagues) have been prepared to make.

Now that XP is two generations old, MS can stop selling “downgrades” to XP, and there is a hard stop in 2014 when support will cease. No matter how well Windows7 may compare to XP, upgrading is a huge commitment of time and money with payback largely reliant on the development of new applications that it enables. So, many Corporates are caught in a trap, facing a forced global desktop upgrade to Windows7, which could require substantial investment in new more powerful hardware, but does little to reduce the support costs or show any upside to the business. But there is a better way…

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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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