Browsing Posts published by Dustin

Digital content has an increasingly important role in business today.  Medical teams use X-Rays and MRIs to diagnose patients. Engineers share design files as they develop new products. And agency design teams collaborate on creative layouts for marketing campaigns.

The rapid growth in digital content is driving over 49% of today’s enterprise and SMB companies to adopt one of today’s enterprise content management or collaboration solutions.  That said, if you listen to the companies who have already made the jump to one or more of today’s ECM (enterprise content management) or collaboration tool suites, the move to these tools will be met with challenges and obstacles – largely because ECM and collaboration tools fail to meet many of today’s tough requirements for security, reliability, ease of use and performance in particular.

So, what are companies saying about the collaboration tool adoption process?  Many customers today look for leaner and more agile solutions according to Forrester Research.  In addition, companies are increasingly looking to integrate SharePoint with their existing ECM systems.  In fact, cross-product integration is probably the number one requirement we hear over and over again.  Vendors, are you listening?

The second biggest issue we hear about is performance.  Getting data into and out of today’s ECM systems can be a real headache – especially if the underlying data transfer technology is FTP.  We hear over and over again, that users simply throw their hands up in frustration because the time it takes to get data into and out of many of today’s systems is simply too onerous.

Because of these limitations, much digital content at the enterprise level remains unmanaged within either an ECM or collaboration tool.  And yet, according to Forrester Research, over 37% of enterprise and small to medium sized businesses will adopt an ECM (enterprise content management) or collaboration tool suite in 2010.  Go figure!

Have a collaboration tool war story to share?

  1. Email is a viable way to share digital content: Most IT organizations enforce a strict 5 MB file size limit on email attachments.  This in itself poses a serious limitation for sharing most digital content.  More importantly however, built-in security compliance in today’s email environment often falls short of what is required by information protection regulations such as SOX, HIPAA, and GLBA.  Check your email system’s inherent capability for securing digital content and ensure it meets today’s compliance and governance requirements.
    Conventional FTP tools are an ideal means by which you can securely transfer digital content: We’ve all used File Transfer Protocol (FTP) at one point or another to send files to our colleagues, other business units or partners.  But did you know that FTP is far from a secure means to share information (digital content or otherwise)?  FTP relies on a basic mechanism of authentication and authorization to grant access to file-based data.  Have you ever noticed however, that once you’ve been authenticated by the FTP system you can not only see your own files, but often any number of files from other users?  This is because, once you send a file via FTP, it remains on the FTP server until you or someone else deletes it.
    All Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems are created equal: Today’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems seem perfect for storing, cataloging, searching and otherwise managing digital content, right?  Well, maybe… you see, not all DAM’s are created equal.  Most of today’s DAM’s rely upon FTP to transfer information between users and the DAM (see number 2 above for why this is a bad idea from a security perspective).  But there’s something else to know about FTP as well.  FTP performance and reliability leaves much to be desired.  Imagine you are uploading a 500 MB file to your DAM.  You are about an hour into the process and a little over half of the file is sent.  Then, for no apparent reason, the FTP server stops.  What do you do then?  Basically, you have to start over from the beginning.  Lesson learned… stay away from FTP and any DAM that relies upon it.