ECM development driving factors

Butler Group (2003), a leading provider of information technology research, analysis, and advice, identified the reasons below as answers to why developments around content management have arisen:

  • • Increased volume of content which organizations must manage;
  • • Increased regulations and standards that require organizations to manage their content better;
  • • The need to track content to cater for organizational needs;
  • • The global nature of e-business;
  • • Mobile and remote working that requires that employees access information regardless of where they are and by what medium;
  • • The fact that organizations now recognize the monetary implications of reusing and repurposing content;
  • • The value of content is more tangible and some organizations have started charging for it; and
  • • Protection of the environment by less use of paper and scarce resources.

Structured, weakly structured, and unstructured content

Tyrvainen, Paivarinta, Salminen, and Livari (2006) referred to content as assets such as documents, websites, intranets, and extranets. Kampffmeyer (2004) went further and divided content into three categories:

  • • Structured content—Data delivered in a standardized layout from database-supported systems (e.g., formatted data sets from a database).
  • • Weakly structured content—Information and documents that may include layout and metadata, but that are not standardized (e.g., word processing files).
  • • Unstructured content—Any kind of information objects whose contents cannot be directly referenced and which lacks separation of content, layout, and metadata (e.g., images, GIFs, video, language, and faxes).
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