As EMC continues to heavily invest in cloud – like this week’s Virtustream announcement – now is a good time to assess your own enterprise content management (ECM) needs and whether clouds are in your forecast. It takes a combination of strategic vision and pragmatic execution to transform content into your competitive edge. We can help you on both fronts. This includes considering what role the cloud can play.
Working closely with customers, for example, I have seen several ways that EMC Documentum and Capital Projects customers can succeed using a variety of cloud “options”. Each emphasizes how your own organizational, cultural, and procedural nuances can play into choosing the right deployment model for your unique situation. While you can’t control the weather, you can control what and which clouds are part of your content management strategy.
A good place to start is exactly there — broadening the cloud horizons of your teams. It helps if everyone understands that an ECM cloud is not just one single approach (even the weather service has cloud options). With EMC, customers mix and match from a variety of location and technology options. Begin by discussing a few basic questions with your technical and business teams:
- Are there any requirements prompting either a Private or Public cloud choice (e.g. legal, compliance, security, finance)?
- Based on common use cases, is it important the cloud is hosted on premise or can it be hosted remotely by a third party (e.g. VPN access, security technical requirements, disaster recovery)?
- Is your staff ready, able and willing to manage the environment (e.g. staff to install, maintain, patch management, upgrade), or is it more efficient and hassle-free to hand it off to specialists, such as EMC Managed Services OnDemand, who will oversee and fully manage the entire environment on your behalf?
I also recommend you take a look at the EMC Cloud Advantage video showing the many virtues of what EMC Managed Services has to offer when managing your ECM environment—whether on premise, private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud.
The Elasticity Advantage
Once your team has this broader strategic understanding in mind, you can then look at practical choices to start operationalizing your deployment strategy. This includes sketching out how many users and administrators might rely on your system, both now and in the future.
We use the term “elasticity” to describe how much you can stretch and grow your cloud when you need it. Unlike traditional apps that may be hard coded with features and thresholds, cloud instances can be rapidly scaled up or down. Three common use cases for ECM elasticity include:
1 – You acquire a company and bring on new EMC Documentum users.
In some situations, customers keep parallel systems (application and cloud instances) up and running until the legalities of acquisitions are final. Then they move all combined users to the cloud instance. In other situations, there is no migration, and all users – existing and new – start on the cloud version only.
2 – You need common functionality and ECM capabilities for a single department or group of users
In this situation, a specific group of users or team needs advanced capabilities only offered by a robust content management solution, such as EMC Documentum D2 or xCP. Rather than roll out an enterprise-wide application, you use a cloud instance to quickly serve up the ECM service to the people that need it.
3 – You need new and different functionality, but you’re not entirely sure how users will leverage it.
In these exploratory and business-case-building scenarios, customers open the cloud to a small number of pilot users (such as regulatory publishers in Life Sciences or maintenance workers in Oil & Gas). Based on user feedback and use cases, they scale up the cloud deployment quickly, putting the best-leveraged functionality in the hands of the most relevant users.
Think about your strategic vision for leveraging the cloud for content management, whether it’s relying on Captiva, Documentum, InfoArchive or Document Sciences technologies. Operationally, talk to our specialists for further insight on weighing the pros/cons of the various cloud “options” now available for ECM applications and solutions For additional resources, check out:
- Prior ECM-related blogs discussing the cost of waiting to move to cloud deployments, and lessons learned from customer cloud experiences. In this on-going cloud series, we will also explore security, and end user enablement
- The comment box below — share other topics of interest and feedback for future blog discussions