2018: A huge year for cloud content management


This past year was huge for cloud content management and collaboration. Let’s take a look back at some of 2018’s biggest developments for the industry and where we see things heading in 2019…

$1 trillion market cap

This year, the first companies to reach a $1 trillion market cap were Apple and Amazon soon to be followed by Microsoft and Alphabet (Google). They are all IT companies and even more importantly, three of the four giants are “Cloud Only” or “Cloud First” companies. We can say with certainty that people are truly seeing the value and possibilities with cloud technology: 2018 was absolutely the Year of the Cloud.

General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect

One of the most major events in tech, which had the entire world watching, was the official introduction of GDPR. May 25, 2018: a date that changed (and in some cases is still changing) the way we do business globally. Even though GDPR a European regulation, it still effects a large amount of organizations across the globe. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standardizes data protection law across all 28 EU countries and imposes strict new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information (PII). It also extends the protection of personal data and data protection rights by giving control back to EU residents.

Content Services vs ECM

2018 was also the year in which people made the switch to content services. Organizations are starting to realize that the concept of “one system to rule them all” to manage enterprise content and processes is outdated, inefficient and ultimately not even what end-users want. End-users want to use systems and applications that support their job’s activities and make their work life easier. Traditional ECM systems force you to compromise, and compromise often leads to either end-user frustration or drop in efficiency.

With cloud content management services you don’t have to accept either option. The cloud content management  services methodology enables organizations to deploy the right tool or service for the job, without compromising on efficiency. The key take-away here is that content services do require a strategic integration plan. With traditional ECM platforms, a full integration is generally guaranteed, which is not the case with Content Services. So, unless you want to recreate all your content in multiple places, an Enterprise Content Integration plan will definitely be required to succeed with modern cloud content management practices.

Multi-cloud will lead the way

As we stated earlier, Cloud companies are leading the market cap. The question is no longer, ‘Should we use the cloud?’ but rather ‘Which cloud systems should we use?’ Even Gartner states that enterprises must be prepared to handle and manage multiple platforms, as a multi-cloud strategy will lead the way very soon. The ability to have your applications and content available to your end-users at any given time, no matter where they work, is becoming an increasingly pressing challenge for organizations to address.

During the majority of the tech conferences that SkySync participated in this year, this topic came up over and over again. Attendees often came to us to discuss their challenges with Shadow IT and their need to integrate a number of systems that would allow end-users to work within their preferred platforms. Many conversations revolved around the end-user and their involvement in strategic decisions; your end-users are educated and know which systems they want. If IT tries to block that movement, end-users will just go around them. The consumerization of IT has enabled end-users to be more involved in decisions around how they work and organizations have finally begun to adapt to this reality.

Migrations are not dead – and maybe never will be

For years we’ve been hearing that migrations are a finite business, that eventually everyone will be where they need to be. And miraculously, year after year, migration business continues to grow as cloud content management and collaboration tools enter and exit the market.

It would be more correct to state that the traditional migration methods are evolving, dying off to make room for a new generation: Enterprise Content Integrations.

Most organizations take on large-scale migrations to consolidate their technology stack, to reduce costs and improve efficiency; not to introduce more complicated technology. Migration and Integration software should support these goals, improving business and assisting end-users with their adoption of new software and processes.

Traditional “lift and shift” migration methodologies or expensive custom solutions are making way for more intelligent content integration platforms – platforms that enable businesses to keep new and existing content platforms in sync while the organization is in transition so that business continues without a hitch. Content is king, and it’s more important than ever that users are able to access files with no disruption or risk of data loss, even when switching to a new system.

Not just synchronization, but rather A-T-S

Analyze, Transform, Sync. It’s becoming rare for an organization to want to pick up all of their content as is and move it over to a new platform. They want to use the migration or integration project as an opportunity to clean house and begin archiving.

Tools that enable a global analysis of content and a full understanding not only what content exists but who as access – and ultimately how valuable that content is – have become a crucial part of the migration planning process.

Secondly, organizations want to be able to not just move their content but transform it – by using the insight gathered during the analysis phase to restructure and transform existing platforms and processes into a new platform that is better aligned with the business and its goals.

Finally sync, armed with the information to make a successful transition, organizations are opting to sync their platforms so that they can focus on user adoption, training and overall change management required to make the migration successful.

We expect that tools that are capable of meeting all of these requirements will play an increasing role in the growing world of Content Services as we enter 2019.