Crossing the Chasm – Backwards!
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you can’t have missed the “Future of ECM” project that AIIM has been working on with Geoffery Moore, author of the famous “Crossing the Chasm” book, documenting the shift from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement, as the main driver for the future of ECM.
First of all let me say that I’m 100% behind this principle. Although not necessarily agreeing with all the points in the report, I wholeheartedly believe that the fundamental behaviour shifts that underlie Enterprise 2.0 and Social Networking, are defining a new type of “content” that is not constrained by the same parameters that we manage in ECM systems today, and will therefore need an altogether new approach to managing and governing it. And as that content is still fundamentally text-based (I don’t like using the term unstructured), the ECM industry is the right place for that transition to happen.
Anyone following my (sparse) blogs, will know that I’ve written about this the same topic before:
What I find fascinating however, is that the current market dynamic described in AIIM’s study, in some ways contradicts the original “Crossing the chasm” model that Geoffrey Moore developed. Instead of the adoption curve lagging behind software innovation, we now have the bizarre scenario where the market is ahead of the software. The ubiquitous presence of social networking tools, connect-everywhere-24×7 smart mobiles and online-presence-savvy Gen-Y “I want it in an App” teenagers, means that the market adoption is dragging the software industry, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. Software vendors are playing catch-up with the market demand and new information management models (e.g. Systems of Engagement) are being invented to reconcile the IT industry status, with the market that is already defined out there, demanding these new capabilities.
So we’re crossing the chasm backwards! We’re no longer educating the luddite users of the amazing benefits of the the latest and greatest IT innovation, waiting for the end-user market to mature. Instead, the market demand is dragging the luddite software vendors into producing real customer-driven, agile, adaptive, consumable enterprise software that has to keep up with the snazzy, clever, sexy and dynamic capabilities that consumer users are already enjoying on their mobile phones in their personal lives.
Today, there is a fundamental difference between the speed that the market develops, versus the speed that software is being produced. So, while the Information Management principles explored in AIIM’s study are absolutely valid and relevant, they need to be developed in tandem with new, better, faster, cheaper, more focused software development & marketing methods. Otherwise the chasm will only become bigger.
I am a Software Strategist, Social Media explorer and Photographer. Professionally, I have been involved with Document Management, Process Management and Content Management for the last 20+ years. The views here are my own and not those of my employer.
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