Cloud content management – a catalyst for change

In 2019, the adoption of cloud applications accelerated globally, reaching four times the investment level of five years ago, according to IDC’s Worldwide Software as a Service and Cloud Software Forecast, 2019-2023. Many companies have successfully leveraged cloud technologies to disrupt their markets; others are gradually testing the waters.  

More organizations than ever before are considering cloud content management (CCM) alternatives to replace legacy systems. This transition to the cloud promotes the future of work – one in which information can be easily and securely shared across a wider set of  geographically disbursed employees, the management of regulated data is simplified, and processes are automated using artificial intelligence (AI). For the C-suite, content applications that are delivered on a cloud platform serve as the catalyst for modernization and digital transformation (DX).

IDC marketscape

Guidance for navigating a fast-changing market

IDC has seen increasing buyer interest in cloud applications and the agility, scalability, and innovation that the cloud enables. This trend, coupled with the convergence of enterprise content management with content sharing and collaboration in the cloud, led us to the develop a technology vendor guide for today's line of business and IT buyer that assesses the principal SaaS and cloud-enabled enterprise content applications.

IDC evaluated the rapidly growing presence of CCM with an eye toward AI, automation, and insights to modernize the processing and governance of business information. We sought out modular, cloud-first platforms, with an architecture that encouraged development of vertical industry and department use case solutions. The goal was for CCM applications to leverage the cloud for more than basic outsourcing savings; they should also expand the organization's ability to innovate faster in a secure, scalable, and governed environment.

State of the market: Cloud first for content workloads

Cloud is now considered the destination of choice for business-critical applications. Organizations are demanding greater content agility, workload portability, and frictionless security for their most sensitive content. Executive leaders are acutely aware of the importance of the customer and employee experience, and they no longer want to be held back by outdated technology. Greater value is placed on centralized access to content and insights that deliver superior customer experiences.

Growing buyer interest in CCM

Buyers seek to obtain substantial gains in agility, operational efficiency, and resiliency with a cloud application.  IDC research found that the top benefits for CCM buyers include:

  • Ease of management (47.1%)
  • Improved API interoperability (29.5%)
  • Scalability to encourage iterative innovation (23.3%)

Platforms that feature robust application programming interfaces (APIs) and connectable cloud content services offer sustainable competitive advantage for organizations on a path to disrupt their market. An extensible platform encourages developers to build new solutions to improve workloads that emphasize content like payment processing or home loan applications. 

Users also benefit from innovation accelerators like AI, which automates, optimizes, and delivers data-driven insights across industry and role-based use cases  in HR, sales, and marketing, among others. Early adopters of AI tools have used them for automating document classification, intelligent search, and protection of personal information.

How CCM enables  digital transformation

Organizations are reaping the benefits of a CCM strategy across business, operations, and IT. These benefits include mitigating compliance risk and increasing visibility to content and system operations.

Security concerns regarding the cloud tend to diminish as experience demonstrates that cloud provider security may be superior to an organization's own efforts. However, ever-changing compliance regulations mean that complexities are bound to arise. Therefore, CCM vendors have obtained certifications at the data, application, and infrastructure layers to assuage concerns of data protection and guard data automatically without burdening the end user.

The future of work will eliminate content silos and easily connect people to information using automation and AI. For example, AI-enabled tools make it easy to kick off a project in a collaborative workspace while surfacing related/recommended content. Organizations now have the chance to redesign and digitize archaic processes and deliver a personalized experience to the worker by providing instant access to relevant documents – anytime, anywhere.

Be a catalyst now

DX projects offer IT an opportunity to divest itself of technology that is not core to the company's products/services while empowering business users to modernize the way they work with content. The business is naturally becoming more comfortable with sensitive data being stored in the cloud with the always-on security system working to protect it. Whether enabling the adoption of new AI tools or changing a production flow, the flexibility and scalability of cloud content applications encourages the business to try new things, fail fast, and iterate to a successful outcome. 

Learn more about the trends and considerations of adopting a cloud content management system: