Times have changed when it comes to executing work in today’s digital enterprise environment. For business to survive and compete, collaboration with strategic and transactional external partners is a table stakes core competency. Blockbuster drug discoveries or new power plant builds can involve dozens of specialists — all well beyond the company’sprotected firewalls — working together to earn their commercial prize.
Earlier this year, for example, Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development’s Outlook predicted “the way [contract research offices] conduct trials with partners may continue to shift,” including experimentation with “a number of outsourcing models to improve quality and reduce cost.”
In the energy sector, the rising cost of capital projects is prompting large engineering firms to collaborate across every level of a plant or energy infrastructure project, globally and locally. According to strategic management consulting firm AT Kearny, capital projects across industries “quite literally shape our world, with more than $10 trillion spent each year to develop the infrastructure that supports modern life — from bridges to hospitals, ports to gas fields.”
Already several years ago, the firm predicted the criticality of collaboration, as “companies and contractors alike noted a shift in the balance of power toward contractors, thus emphasizing the importance of improving contracting both within and across projects.”
Cutting Out VPN-Upstart Complications
Yet the IT technologies that need to enable this fluid exchange of expertise and resources can sometimes stand in the way of your competitive edge. In the content management space, the fastest path to quicker – yet still resilient – collaboration is often turning to a public cloud deployment model. No more 10-step processes to engage, accredit, verify, implement and troubleshoot virtual private network (VPN) access to core content for one of your external business partners. Instead, a public cloud deployment of EMC Documentum, for example, can safely serve up content management services, whether to design contractors in Milan or scientists in Geneva.
Two factors are making this cloud approach even more attractive to today’s digital enterprise. First, the explosive growth of the Internet is driving anytime, anywhere and on-
any device access to content management solutions. Few IT managers are still wary about “if” they should pursue the cloud for content management. The majority are, in fact, further along, sorting through strategic decisions about “how and when” to leverage the cloud (often with experienced guidance from EMC Enterprise Content Division (ECD) Services).
Similarly for end users, bypassing traditional IT to use highly responsive, intuitive cloud-delivered services is a commonplace practice causing a significant shadow IT conundrum. For better performance and to easily relocate and search their content, end users will embrace and welcome IT-approved content management in the cloud. As a result, IT leaders are looking for the best possible application for the job in their industry, and how it can be leveraged in the cloud.
Second, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the fact that enterprise content is growing at an exponential rate. Our CTO and VP of Engineering has visualized and discussed the changing nature of content in detail in prior blogs, noting, for example, a rise in non-textual business content, especially video. By 2017, he notes, half of all business content will be non-textual, and much of it will be short videos.
Key Cloud Considerations
With cloud deployments, procurement, installation, configuration and tuning of your content management systems is left to the experts, regardless of your content type. You and your external partners simply leverage the software capabilities of your content management solution and eliminate the hassles and cost of implementing and self-managing.
To determine if your collaboration needs are a fit for EMC content management in the cloud, consider a few of these public cloud characteristics:
- Single tenant configuration
- Allows many external business partners to access the same enterprise content management (ECM) system as your employees
- Eliminates time-consuming setup and administration of VPNs to administer credentials and proper permissions
- Rapid rollout of new features and minimizing extensive customizations instills standardization resulting in speedy deployments and quickly realizing business value
- All-inclusive pricing that covers software, services and maintenance
- Consumption or utility-based model for flexibility in scaling up or down throughout project lifecycles and resourcing needs
Industry-Specific Cloud Deployments
In addition to these public cloud benefits, those in industry sectors such as Life Sciences and Energy & Engineering can gain richer benefits when they choose solutions tightly mapped to their industry processes, terminology, and regulatory environments. EMC Enterprise Content Division (ECD) offers purpose-built industry solutions to address both Life Sciences and Energy & Engineering.
EMC Documentum for Life Sciences Solution suite, for example, delivers functionality and business solutions across the clinical, regulatory, and quality domains. In addition, using interoperable solutions based on a single content management platform delivers higher level collaboration and integration benefits. As varied teams work together, the correct versions of key cross-over documents like Clinical Study Reports can be readily accessed, for an efficient – and collaborative– workflow.
In Energy & Engineering, similar close alignment to your industry nuances drives even greater value out of your content management cloud service. In design and build phase, key documents can be reviewed and commented upon globally, while maintaining management of change best practices. Automatic tracking of change requests, approvals and version control helps simplify compliance reporting. In the cloud, services can be accessed 24/7 with no wait time for individually-assigned VPN procedures.
Of course, even though many use cases drive the need for public cloud solutions, EMC offers multiple deployment options, including private and hybrid cloud deployments, as well as traditional on-premise software deployments. Find out about your company’s “cloud personality type” in a prior blog , or learn more about our Life Sciences or Energy & Engineering content management solutions.
Whichever approach you choose, implementing content management will already bring you one step closer to better collaboration between partners and employees. A well-planned content management strategy can drive significant worker efficiency and productivity gains. For content requiring high levels of accuracy, such as gas pipeline drawings or drug production quality parameters, 24/7 cloud access to approved and compliant documents can also protect human and environmental safety. Consider the cloud requirements prior Spark blog to find your fastest path to a collaboration core competency and competitive edge.
Weigh in on how your organization effectively and easily collaborates beyond the firewall within your content management application(s).