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Clouds Raining On ECM’s Barrier To Entry

I’ve been running a little behind on posting but I wanted to make sure this one made it out.  Adobe has announced that LiveCycle Developer Express is available on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. (should that be in or on – a topic for another post)   This is an interesting step forward in our industry.   

Very few of us got into this line of work because we thought it was interesting in the first place. We were drafted.  Somebody made us do it and we found something that appealed to us.Though if we weren’t at a company that bought into the value of ECM,  getting into it at the enterprise level is difficult. Especially if for some reason you don’t want to commit to open source or hosted systems.

Chuck Hollis had an interesting post  predicting that private clouds would represent a more significant component of IT infrastructure in the days to come.  I especially like the idea of mixing internal and external services to provide the very best of both worlds for Content Management. 

New technology familiarization can take place in external environments with little or no capital investment – dropping a significant barrier to getting these complex projects started. Once you understand it – bring it inside if it makes sense from a financial and security perspective.  Leave it out if there if there is no good reason to manage it internally.

The advantage to the developer (and the people paying to train them) is the use of the same technology regardless of where the data resides. Over time more of the services that revolve around the core of ECM will move into these types of environments. Business process management in particular is uniquely positioned to leverage these new platforms and provide the application capability to transition content from one private cloud to another in B2B scenarios. (when was the last time you saw B2B in a post – I’m showing my age)

Pure play content mangement is moving this direction as well.  In January, Day Software announced that the newest release of their CRX content repository would be Cloud-Ready. I confess my first reaction to this is to let the paint dry a little more. The model is nonetheless very compelling and shows that at least some in the industry see cloud computing as an effective mechanism for delivering true enterprise services instead of just search widgets and address books.

I’m coming around to the idea that its not cloud computing itself that makes it viable – but the fact that I can have one myself.  A core aspect to running any business is managing the risk around mission critical applications.  To surrender that to an outside entity in some scenarios is more risk than you can take. 

If you bring the cloud inside my firewall though and give me the ability to design, implement and sustain it along with the visibility to its health – then its something I can consider.  Lower the cost of development and the barrier to entry and cloud computing quickly overtakes many other traditional pathways to production.

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