Esri, ECM and the Consumerization of IT

using a hearty ECM solution with a proven integration with the Esri platform lets you link your structured and unstructured content...

It’s funny how quickly times can change. Watch an old episode of “Friends” on TV, for example, and you’ll see nary a computer in the show. Movies about newspapers and businesses from the mid ’90s remind us that not that long ago, “technology” was still a relatively niche term – certainly in the workspace. And at home? I’m sure many of us can remember using electric typewriters and maybe even Liquid Paper. Talk about the old days.

The way technology has ingratiated itself into our lives is really amazing. We are surrounded by it – our TVs, our telephones, our cars, and even some of our refrigerators now are “connected.” It has changed the way we live our everyday lives.

As the leading enterprise technology media, data and services company, IDG Enterprise defines our current technology consumerization movement as “the propensity for users’ experiences with technology as consumers to impact their expectations regarding their technology experiences at work.” In layman’s terms, because we’ve become so accustomed to a certain user experience in our personal lives, we expect the same type of experience in our professional lives. It’s fascinating to think how quickly so much of new technology has become essential.

With today’s dispersed workforce, accessing content from essentially anywhere, for example, is more than a “perk.” It’s critical.

Is Your Company in on the ECM Action?

For some organizations, this means the addition of smartphones and other mobile devices for their workforce. Bear in mind, though, that it’s no longer just about being able to continue working when you leave your cubicle or office. It’s more about how we search for information and expect it to be displayed. It’s about access… and sharing.

The geospatial information found within an Esri solution, along with related documents and data are certainly no exception to the consumerization of IT movement. Gone are the days of field workers printing off their location map with the data points or infrastructure information they need. Today, they demand access that information instantaneously. That attitude has nothing to do with pretension; indeed, it’s essential for success in today’s business environment.

Beginning with the development of ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online, the power of the Esri ArcGIS platform is available to all. Once you have that, you can also provide the ability to collaborate on documents, push them through an automated work process and give others access to that information. Any of those authorized users can then create new documents, photos, videos or whatever they need – all of which link directly to the geospatial data on their Esri maps. It’s but one powerful example of what changing technology can accomplish.

Sharing Information Across the Enterprise

Let’s take it one step further. Using a hearty Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution with a proven integration with the Esri platform lets you link your structured and unstructured content. This integration enables workers to access information from their familiar Esri interface without toggling between applications. Easy.

So imagine the next time someone is out in the field. They receive notification of a needed repair through an automated work order form, then use the Esri map on their mobile device to locate the asset and drive to the site. Once there, by simply clicking the asset location on that Esri map, they bring up all pertinent documents – including the repair manual, if necessary. Once the repair is complete, they mark the work order as such and attach a photo taken on their phone to verify the repair’s status. They then push the form back through an automatic workflow so the original requestor is informed of the work’s completion.

The World is Changing, and Work with It

In its most positive aspects, technology allows us to be freer than ever before. Yes, we can “work” from anywhere. More impressive still is the ability to access any and all documents and other information we need from anywhere – thanks to the cloud. Still more exciting is the idea that things are just getting started. When you think about what’s possible – and then what’s probable – it’s hard not to get a little excited.

We live in pretty amazing times. It’s never been easier to work smarter.

Posted by: Kelly Green
This entry was posted in Enterprise Content Management, Information Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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